Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann has been acquitted in a sedition case for the 65th time.
In the cases registered against him, including those of sedition, it has been the 85th case against the former IPS officer, where he has been acquitted.
In this case, he had been accused of calling freedom fighter Bhagat Singh a terrorist, something which the prosecution failed to prove in the court.
Civil judge (junior division) Ranjeev Pal Singh Cheema on Monday pronounced the judgment saying, "The prosecution failed to prove its case, thus Mann is acquitted."
While coming out of the court, Mann said, "My acquittal has vindicated my words that Bhagat Singh was a terrorist and not a martyr."
Mann was booked and arrested in 2007 for terming Bhagat Singh a "petty terrorist". During the trial, the prosecution tried to produce a few freedom fighters, but they didn't support the police's view by claiming that they had not given any statement to the police.
"Now, I reaffirm that Bhagat Singh indulged in violence and killed innocent persons, John Saunders and head constable Chanan Singh. And our party doesn't support violence of terrorism. My acquittal has upheld my viewpoint," said Mann.
Mann, who left the police service after Operation Bluestar, said his acquittal was another blot on the Indian state.
Now, Mann faces only two cases, one of sedition, registered at Bassi Pathana, and the other of violation of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Court pending at Sangrur.
Mann said, "The prosecution, in the past 30 years, has failed to prove a single case against me. I don't know the exact number, but it is at least the 65th sedition case I have been acquitted in. Politicians and police have registered false cases against me and put me in jail from time to time to keep me out of politics. However, it's time the Indian state learnt a lesson and didn't register another sedition case and curbed the freedom of speech."
Mann's counsel Birjinder Singh Sodhi said that after completing the trial in the two remaining cases, where Mann was falsely implicated, he would move the higher court for penalising those officers who had registered false cases against his client. "In all cases, the prosecution has failed as they were registered with a malicious intent," he said.