Though a local court on Tuesday granted bail to BKI terrorist Jagtar Singh Tara in the infamous Burail jail-break case, he was sent to jail as he is wanted in several criminal cases including the assassination of former chief minister of Punjab Beant Singh.
Dismissing UT police's application seeking 14-day custodial interrogation, judicial magistrate Harpreet Kaur allowed bail application moved on behalf of Tara granting him bail against bail bonds of Rs 1 lakh and two sureties. The police were however granted time to complete formalities of arresting Tara who was brought from Patiala jail on production warrants.
"The court had already dropped charges of sedition against all the accused in the jail-break case. Thus, the only charge against Tara is under Section 224 (escapes from lawful detention) of the Indian Penal Code, which is a bailable offence. The application of the UT police seeking remand for a bailable offence is completely illegal,"said advocate AS Chahal, who appeared for Tara while pressing for bail.
UT police's arguments that the charge of waging war still stands against Tara, who was recently apprehended in Thailand by central intelligence agencies, failed to hold ground.
Tara, who was facing trial for assassinating former CM of Punjab, Beant Singh, had escaped along with three others after digging about 109-feet-long tunnel inside the jail in January, 2004. Two escapees Jagtar Singh Hawara and Paramjeet Singh Bheroa had earlier been arrested, while Dev Singh, aka Devi, the third, is still at large.
The UT police had sought custodial interrogation as they wanted to question him about those who had assisted him during and post his escape from the jail.
Tara was brought to district courts complex-43 at around 11 am under tight police security. He was remanded in judicial custody to Model Burail jail at around 4:30 pm.
Tara cannot be moved out of Burail jail
The UT administration through a notification issued under Section 268 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) imposed on Jagtar Singh Tara, who is one of the major accused in Beant Singh's assassination, prohibited his removal from Burail jail till the completion of his trial.
Cases against Tara
Beant Singh assassination case, in which Hawara, Bheora and some others were sentenced to life imprisonment in 2007, will start again.
Also, a fresh chargesheet will be filed in the jailbreak case in which the verdict against all the accused, except Devi Singh, Tara and Gurwinder Singh Goldy, is expected soon.
Tara had floated a company and was to move to Germany
Before dismissing the plea for custodial interrogation, the court had allowed a team from operations cell to question Tara in the court premises. As per sources, Tara disclosed that he had made a fake AKM company in Thailand and was scheduled to flee to Germany to meet another terrorist Resham Singh on the pretext of this company.
Tara transported secretly from Patiala to Chandigarh
Tara has been silently transported to Model Burail Jail from Patiala Central Jail before he was produced in a local court on Tuesday. The court had directed police to produce him on February 23 but he was brought to Chandigarh earlier because of security concerns.
The decision of transporting Tara before his scheduled time to appear in the court was taken to maintain secrecy of the proceedings.
Chandigarh police taken by surprise
Chandigarh Police was surprised to see Jagtar Singh Tara at Burail Jail on Tuesday morning. He was brought to the jail at around 11 am by the Punjab police. A Punjab police official told the police that they had received orders from superiors to shift Tara from Patiala Central Jail to Model Jail.
The officials, on reaching Burail Jail, said they would need court orders to take Tara's custody.