By LE Desk

New Delhi, April 26: Actor-activist Deep Sidhu, accused of violence in the national capital on Republic Day, was today granted bail in the second case against him by the Tis Hazari court in Delhi. 

Sidhu who was arrested on February 9 in connection with the Red Fort violence on January 26 during the farmers’ tractor parade against the Centre’s three farm laws, can now walk free if not arrested in any other case. In its bail order, the court said that Sidhu’s “further incarceration in the present case would bear no fruit and therefore would be unjustified”, the Hindustan Times reported. Sidhu was granted bail on a personal bond of Rs. 25,000 with one surety of like amount by the court.

In its order, the court observed, “The prosecution seeks to make an example out of the case of the accused, he being a popular public figure, such an endeavour however hazards a failure of justice as a result of compromised objectivity’.”

“The sweeping power of investigation does not warrant subjecting a citizen each time to fresh investigation by the police in respect of the same incident, giving rise to one or more cognizable offences, consequent upon filing of successive FIRs whether before or after filing the final report,” the order added, as reported by the Hindustan Times.

The court also noted that Sidhu had already been interrogated in police custody for 14 days and been in custody for about 70 days when he has been granted regular bail in the first case earlier this month by a local court in Delhi. After the bail then, Sidhu was arrested again on the same day on the basis of an FIR filed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in connection with Republic Day violence.

Remarking on the bail granted to Sidhu on April 17, the court said in its order, “The need and timing of the arrest is highly questionable because despite knowing that the accused has been lodged in JC since 09.02.2021, he was arrested only on 17.04.2021, when he was granted regular bail in FIR No.96/2021. This clearly suggests that it was an attempt to defeat the bail order dated 16.04.2021 of the Ld. ASJ and is a grave affront to personal liberty of the accused and runs foul of rights guaranteed under Article 21.”

Sidhu, who is a Punjabi actor was arrested on charges of inciting protesters during the tractor rally which was organised by farmers protesting against the three contentious farm bills on Republic Day. The rally turned violent with farmers breaking police barricades and clashing with the personnel at several places. Hundreds of farmers also stormed Red Fort, damaged property and clashed with the policemen there.

Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at three border points of Delhi- Singhu, Tikri (along Haryana), and Ghazipur- demanding a repeal of the three farm laws enacted by the Centre in September last year. The three contentious laws include the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.

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