THE PUNJAB and Haryana High Court has found that Sant Samaj leader Baljit Singh Daduwal, booked in Amritsar under sedition charges during the Sarbat Khalsa congregation three months ago, did not utter “even a single word” which could be considered an attempt at waging war against the state.
Daduwal, who is lodged in the Hoshiarpur jail, was granted bail by Justice M M S Bedi on Wednesday.
After going through the speech delivered by Daduwal, Justice Bedi observed, “Not even a single word is an attempt at waging or abetting to wage war against the Government of India or promoting enmity between different groups.”
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It was during the Sarbat Khalsa congregation in Chhaba village on November 10, 2015, that Daduwal was declared head priest of Takht Damdama Sahib.
However, two days later, an FIR was registered against him and others participating in the congregation, at the Chattiwind police station, on sedition charges.
On November 13, Daduwal was arrested and has been behind bars since then.
Justice Bedi said, “I have gone through the contents of the speech delivered by the petitioner… the petitioner has stated that in the presence of the sacred Guru Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, all persons attending the congregation should forget about their individual grievances and that all sects of Akali Dal, i.e. Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Shiromani Akali Dal, 1920, Independent Akali Dal, United Akali Dal, Dal Khalsa, are requested to work for the welfare of the Khalsa Panth and that he should be called as Bhai and not Sant or Baba.”
Without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, the court said that Daduwal also needed to be granted bail on medical grounds as he had undergone a mini gastric bypass.