The court of additional district and sessions judge JS Sidhu granted bail to 48 of 68 accused in the matter pertaining to violent protest on Panjab University (PU) campus against fee hike.
Despite police opposition in arguments that lasted for more than half an hour, the students were granted bail on a surety bond of Rs 25,000 each.
DEFENCE PLEADS FOR PERSONAL BOND
During argument, the prosecution stated that protesting students had even beaten up cops.
The investigating officer presented photographs to depict the magnitude of the protest.
The counsel of the accused, however, claimed during crossexamination that photographs did not constitute evidence on whether these students were the same who engaged in stone-pelting.
He said the students were seen ‘just standing in the pictures’ and their identify was not verified through this device.
The defence also requested that the accused be released on personal bonds since it might be difficult for all of them — most being outstation bonds.
The police stated that the accused didn’t deserve to be granted bail for injuring 26 cops, causing damage to public property and creating an atmosphere of lawlessness that did not bode well for the future.
- After the court granted bail, confusion prevailed over the number of students that were granted bail. Despite the respective counsels of the students having applied bail for 53 persons, bail was granted to 48 accused as the name of the remaining five were not in the FIR due to a technical glitch.
- The bail application stated the names of the accused as listed in the FIR. These five students were also in custody, but their name was not in the FIR. The judge sought clarification from the defence counsel in this regard. However, bail was finally granted to 48 people.
- The court has now issued notice for bail of the remaining five which will now come for hearing on Monday. Family of Meharpreet, who were also present outside court, was very perturbed at the development. Sector-11 station house officer Lakhbir Singh said, “The list of the accused includes 68 names in total in the FIR and there were few unnamed as well.”
- One of the advocates forming part of the defence team Tarminder Singh said, “The list of arrested accused was demanded and despite court asking the investigation officer to provide the same, it wasn’t done.”
‘ACCUSED NOT NEEDED FOR INVESTIGATION AT THIS STAGE’
The court observed both sides were blaming each other for the incident adding that the injured (cops) had been discharged from the hospital.
“It will be established during trial by way of evidence that which particular person is required for causing particular injuries and at this stage no specific conclusion can be made regarding attribution of specific injury.” The court observed that the production of challan would take time and that the accused were not required for investigation at this stage.