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Monday, May 17, 2021

Arrest after bail against constitutional principles: Deep Sidhu’s lawyer to court

Gupta told the court that Sidhu has been in custody for over 75 days and every single day in custody was a "grave affront" to his rights under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

Written by Anand Mohan J | New Delhi |
Updated: April 24, 2021 5:09:07 pm
Deep Sidhu, Deep Sidhu bail, Farmers protests, Deep Sidhu lawyer's statement in court, Delhi news, Indian expressDeep Sidhu with officers of Special Cell in Janakpuri, New Delhi. (Express photo: Tashi Tobgyal/File)

Punjabi actor-activist Deep Sidhu, through his lawyers, told a Delhi court that his arrest after bail goes against constitutional principles.

Sidhu’s lawyer Abhishek Gupta made the arguments before a Reliever Metropolitan Magistrate, who reserved the order for next Monday.

Gupta told the court that Sidhu has been in custody for over 75 days and every single day in custody was a “grave affront” to his rights under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

Gupta told the court that both the FIRs contain identical offences, adding that the bail ought to be granted in the second FIR as well and within a few hours of getting bail in the first FIR, “I was arrested for the second FIR in a malafide manner.”

“Sidhu has been in custody for more than 75 days. Both FIRs relate to the same incident; registration of the second FIR is an abuse of process. Damage caused to Red Fort was the same as mentioned in the first FIR (in which Sidhu was granted bail). The only addition to it is provisions under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971…Why did they arrest me right after I got bail? It goes against the constitutional principles and rule of law,” Gupta told the court.

Citing several judgments, Gupta told the court that, “the existence of the power of arrest is one thing. The justification for such arrest is another thing.”

Gupta told the court that “this is a fraud on the process. They are raising identical allegations that were previously dealt with by the ASJ (Additional Sessions Judge). The arrest is ex facie, arbitrary, mala fide.”

Additional Public Prosecutor Rajiv Kamboj, who appeared for the state, told the court, “The timing may be questionable, but there is no answer as to why they did not approach High Court for quashing the second FIR.”

“Both offences occurred at different points of time. Just because they occurred at the same place, it doesn’t mean we cannot lodge a second FIR,” Kamboj told the court.

“Red Fort is an ancient monument. They defaced and destroyed. As per the videos, he (Sidhu) played an active role. Since the case is a sensitive one, bail should not be granted,” Kamboj told the court.

Sidhu was earlier granted bail by a Delhi court in connection with the violence at Red Fort on Republic Day, saying that the prosecution had sought to make an example of him since he was popular but that this “hazards a failure of justice”, and that his continued detention was an infringement of his right to life and liberty.

Hours later, the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch had arrested Sidhu over the charge of damaging the monument.

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