Punjab police on Monday suffered a huge blow in connection with the December car bomb blast case when a court on Monday granted bail to the two prime suspects— Jagmohan Singh of Gadaipur and Hardeep Singh of Bholath.
The rural police reportedly failed to file the charge sheet within 90 days after the arrest of the accused.
Hardeep was arrested on December 16 and Jagmohan on December 18.
The FIR was registered on December 5 at Maqsudan police station under Sections 302 (murder) 120-B IPC (criminal conspiracy, 3, 4, 5 of Explosive Substance Act after a bomb explosion in a Maruti Swift Dzire car at Dugri village, 20 km from Jalandhar, killed cloth merchant Ajay Kumar and injured Jagmohan Singh, who faces three cases of murder and another of drug trade.
It is pertinent to mention here that earlier accused had filed bail applications in the lower court on March 17 and 18. During the investigation, Section 18 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act was added in this case on January 31 this year.
Defence counsel Mandeep Singh Sachdev argued that as per provisions of Section 43 (D) read with section 167 (2) CrPC, the accused cannot be kept in custody for more than 90 days, without presentation of charge sheet and extension can only be given in case investigating officer for some valid reason could not complete investigation within three months, which is extendable up to six months (180 days).
Sachdev contended that since no such application has been moved by public prosecutor in this case and no notice of the same has been given to accused, his clients had the right to be released on bail.
The police through prosecution had argued in lower court that sections of 13, 16 and 18 of Unlawful Activities Prevention were added on January 31 and after that, investigation was marked to the then DSP (investigation) Mandeep Singh, and after arrest of both accused under such charges on January 31, a period of 90 days had not yet elapsed and demanded dismissal of the applications.
After dismissal of their bail applications on March 19, both had filed revision pleas in the court of additional district and sessions judge on March 23 on which hearing was held on Monday and applications were granted.
SSP Harmohan Singh Sandhu said that he has not received the copy of the court’s order and police would challenge it.
The chargesheet filed in the case by police had alleged that the accused had planned to target Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan in Jalandhar that was inaugurated by the Namdhari sect head, Satguru Uday Singh, on December 25, last year.
As per the charge sheet procured by Hindustan Times, Jagmohan, Hardeep, Harbhej Singh of Sirsa, who were arrested, had hatched the plan along with Palwinder Singh of Delhi, besides Mehanga Singh and Rattan Singh of Sirsa, against whom look out circular has been issued.
It further reads that Jagmohan used to visit Sirsa frequently and the accused hatched the plan to kill Satguru Uday Singh at the musical event besides targeting Bhaini Sahib in Ludhiana as the Namdhari sect head was “not on good terms” with his brother Thakur Dalip Singh.