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Sacrilege: 5 Dera followers get bail HC Points To Delay In FIR And Arrests

May 21, 2019 06:15 AM

Sacrilege: 5 Dera followers get bail
HC Points To Delay In FIR And Arrests


While observing that there was an “unexplained delay” in registration of an FIR and then a two-year delay in arresting the accused, the Punjab and Haryana high court has granted bail to five followers of Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) who were arrested for the October 2015 sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib at Gurusar village in Bathinda.

“Investigation is complete, challan stands presented, charges are yet to be framed, therefore, it will take a long time in conclusion of the trial and also considering the fact that there is a delay of 15 days in registration of the FIR, which is not explained and the petitioners are arrested, after a supplementary statement dated November 13, 2018, i.e. after a period of two years, was recorded,” HC has observed.

The court allowed petitions of Rajinder Kumar alias Babbu, Baljit Singh, Rajvir Singh, Sukhmander Singh and Jatinderveer Arora alias Jimmi, and ordered that they be released on regular bail Jimmi was considered to be the main accused. He was arrested at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi on November 7, 2018, on his return from Malasiya after his honeymoon. Others were arrested on November 10 and 11, 2018.

Justice Arvind Sangwan passed these orders on Friday, while allowing the petition filed by Jimmi and other accused seeking release on bail.

An FIR related to the incident was registered on July 3, 2016, under sections 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC, registered at Dayalpura police station in Bathinda.

An FIR was registered on a complaint by the vice-president of Gurudwara Mahil Sahib Bhagat, Bhai Gurcharan Singh. According to the complaint, on June 18, 2016, at around 8.30pm, Rajinder Gurcharan alleged that pages of Panj Granthi were lying spread over towards the back gate of gurudwara, in front of house of Rachhpal Singh Fauji in a narrow street. The complainant visited the spot and collected the parts of Panj Granthi.

Seeking bail, the accused argued that on account of difference of opinion about the religious belief between the petitioners and the complainant, they had been implicated in the case. It was also submitted that the challan against them had been presented, the investigation was complete and since the offence was under Section 295-A of IPC, it was triable by the court of magistrate. They said it would take a long time in conclusion of trial and no useful purpose would be served in keeping the petitioner behind the bars.

It was argued that the incident took place on June 18, 2016, whereas the FIR was registered on July 3, 2016, without any explanation of the 15-day delay.

Opposing the plea, the Punjab government argued that the petitioners had committed a heinous offence, which was punishable under Section 295-A of the IPC. The government describe the crime to be “serious” in context of the the Sikh community and the holy Shri Guru Granth Sahib.


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