November 7, 2020 11:52:15 pm
Jagtar Singh Johal, alias Jaggi Johal, a British National, accused of being involved in targeted killings of Right wing leaders in Punjab, secured regular bail from the Punjab and Haryana High Court, but will remain inside the jail as nine cases in which he has been booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) are pending against him.
Johal secured the bail in a case registered at Baghapurana police station in December 2016 in which Moga police had named him as an accused. The FIR was registered under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120B of the IPC, Section 25 of the Arms Act, and Sections 17, 18, 19 and 20 of the UAPA, 1967. Jaggi was arrested on November 4, 2017.
Pleading for regular bail to Johal, his counsel Jaspal Singh Manjhpur, told the court that nothing had been recovered from the petitioner and no overt act is attributed to him. “He is in custody for over three years and is not involved in any other case. Other co-accused, Jagjit Singh and Dharaminder Singh, have been granted regular bail by the coordinate bench as well as by this Court,” Manjhpur contended.
The state counsel, however, contended that 16 out of 75 prosecution witnesses have been examined. He contented that petitioner along with other accused was involved in unlawful activities and has been instigating others.
Granting bail to Johal, Justice Anupinder Singh Grewal ordered, “In view of the submissions made, especially when the petitioner has been arraigned as an accused on the statement of the co-accused, nothing has been recovered from the petitioner. He is in custody for over three years and not involved in any other case. The co-accused have been granted regular bail. The conclusion of the trial is likely to take some time, so I deem it a fit case to grant the concession of regular bail to the petitioner”.
Johal (30), is a resident of Dumbarton, Scotland. He was arrested on November 4, 2017 from Jalandhar by Punjab Police for his alleged role in the targeted killings reported from April 2016 to October 2017, including the murder of RSS leader Brigadier Jagdish Gagneja (Retd).
Punjab Police had claimed that Johal had admitted to meeting Harminder Singh alias Mintu, now dead, in France and giving him £3,000. He allegedly provided £800 for procuring weapons used in target killings in Punjab. This confession statement was the basis of first case registered against Johal at Baghapurana.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) used the same confessional statement of Johal in eight cases. Johal’s lawyer claimed that there is no other substantial document or recovery against Johal in all nine active pending cases out of total 10 registered against him.
Johal was arrested following the disclosure by one Taljit Singh Jimmy, who has now been discharged by the NIA in another case in which both Taljit and Johal were co-accused under UAPA and other sections.
“Police and NIA cases against Johal is based on his confessional statement. They don’t have anything substantial against Johal and they couldn’t bring any evidence in support of alleged confessional statement,” said Johal’s lawyer.
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