Deep Sidhu, arrested in connection with 26 Jan violence at Red Fort, gets bail

Deep Sidhu being presented in Tis Hazari court after being arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell team, in New Delhi on 9 February 2021. | Photo: ANI
Deep Sidhu being presented in Tis Hazari court after being arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell team, in New Delhi on 9 February 2021. | Photo: ANI

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New Delhi: A Delhi court has granted bail to actor-activist Deep Sidhu, who was arrested in connection with the Red Fort violence on Republic Day.

Special Judge Neelofer Abida Perveen granted relief to the accused on Friday on a personal bond of Rs 30,000 and two sureties of a like amount.

Sidhu was arrested on February 9 in connection with the Red Fort violence on Republic Day during a farmers’ tractor parade against the Centre’s three new agriculture laws.

The court noted that the accused was in custody since February 9, 2021, with 14 days of remand in police custody.

It said that a police plea for further incarceration for the sole purpose of voice sampling was not justifiable.

The prosecution’s case rests largely and on the contents of video recordings and footage available and accessible to all on social media sites in public domain, and there is therefore a remote possibility of the accused-applicant being able to interfere with the content on such platform, the judge said.

Rejecting the prosecution’s contention that the accused might abscond if released on bail, the court said, The accused as per the own case of the prosecution is a well-known public figure with deep roots in society and such apprehensions are capable of being allayed by imposing stricter conditions.

It further said, It would violate and infringe the fundamental right to life and liberty guaranteed to the accused, if the accused is denied bail in the present case on such nature of accusations and material only on the ground that the investigating agency is yet to establish the identity of the several other members of the unlawful assembly.

While granting the bail, the judge directed the accused to deposit his passport with the investigating officer and appear before the police station as well as the court as and when required.

He shall not influence, threaten, intimidate witnesses nor tamper with evidence in any manner whatsoever, the court said.

The court, meanwhile, said that while it was beyond the realm of dispute that dissent and dialogue is fundamental to democracy where the absolute power vests in the people exercised by the people through its elected representatives and that the Constitution of India guarantees the right to protest, the present FIR however is not impinging upon this fundamental right to protest in any manner.

On January 26, thousands of protesting farmers who reached ITO in Delhi from the Ghazipur border clashed with police, the agency claimed in its FIR registered in connection with the Red Fort violence, adding that many of them who were driving tractors reached the Red Fort and entered the monument, where a religious flag was also hoisted.

In the FIR, police said two magazines with 20 live cartridges were snatched from two constables by protesters who also damaged vehicles and robbed anti-riot gear.

Also read: Why alarm bells are ringing in Punjab over Deep Sidhu and Lakha Sidhana’s growing support base


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