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Sikh militants who hijacked plane to Lahore in 1981 get bail in Delhi court

The court earlier on Tuesday granted two-day interim bail to the duo after they appeared before it.

india Updated: Jul 20, 2017 21:30 IST
HT Correspondent
Lahore,Delhi court,Sikh militants
The accused had moved the Delhi high court in December 2012 through a writ petition seeking the quashing of the supplementary charge-sheet, but the court had refused to stay the fresh trial.(HT Photo)

A Delhi court on Thursday granted bail to two Sikh militants, accused of hijacking an Air India plane in 1981 to Lahore, Pakistan.

Additional chief metropolitan magistrate Jyoti Kler granted bail to Tajinder Pal Singh and Satnam Singh and asked them to furnish a personal bond of Rs 2 lakh and two sureties of like amount each.

The court directed them not to tamper with evidence or influence witnesses in the case.

The court earlier on 18 July (Tuesday) granted two-day interim bail to the duo after they appeared before it.

Damdami Taksal slams Delhi Police

Meanwhile, the Damdami Taksal in a statement isssued in Amritsar slammed the Delhi police for filing a supplementary challan in the court, putting the two hijackers on a fresh trial under different offences in the 36-year-old FIR.

Capt directs state legal team to help Sikh hijackers facing ‘double’ trial

Chandigarh: Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh has directed the state’s Legal Aid Team to extend help to the two Sikhs faced with possibilities of ‘double jeopardy’ in the hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane to Lahore 36 years ago.

“While the hijacking was condemnable, any attempt to prosecute the two, who had already done life terms in Pakistan for the same crime, will amount to a serious travesty of justice,” the chief minister in a statement on Thursday, adding that this could tantamount to double jeopardy. He added that he has directed the Legal Aid team of the Home Department to extend legal help to the two, in case required.

While he said he did not want to go into the merits of the case since it was sub-judice, the CM pointed out 36 years is a long time, considering that life term will not have been more than 14 years.

About the case

The case against them dates back to September 29, 1981, when they allegedly hijacked an Air India plane from New Delhi en route to Srinagar via Amritsar and forced it to land in Lahore, Pakistan, where they were arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Both were deported in 2000 from Pakistan after serving life-term for hijacking.

They had later sought their discharge from the case but a sessions court had dismissed their plea.

In 2011, the Delhi Police had chargesheeted them under various sections 121 (waging war against the government of India), 121A (conspiring to commit certain offences against the state), 124A (sedition) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The Delhi high court had also dismissed their plea seeking stay on the sessions court order and asked the trial court to proceed with the matter.

First Published: Jul 20, 2017 17:32 IST