A Delhi Court on Tuesday granted bail to Freelance Journalist Mandeep Punia who works for The Caravan and Janpath. Delhi Police arrested Punia on January 30 when he was moving through roadblocks, tried to remove the barricades and misbehaved with the Police. A video of Punia had gone viral on social media platforms where he was seen trying to cross the barricades forcefully. He was soon nabbed by the Delhi police and detained.
Bail granted against a bail bond of Rs.25,000
The Court said that as the complainant, victims and witnesses are police personnel only, there is no possibility that the accused/applicant will be able to influence any of the police officials.
The Court further added, “It is well settled legal principle of law that “bail is a rule and jail is an exception”. Hence, considering the totality of facts and circumstances of the present case, submissions on behalf of both the parties as well as keeping in view the period of detention of the accused in judicial custody, he is admitted to bail on furnishing bail bond in a sum of Rs.25,000/- along with one sound surety in the like amount.”
The Court also imposed some conditions with the bail. The Court asked the accused to appear in Court regularly when required. Also, Punia is not allowed to leave the country without prior permission of the Court.
‘Journalists’ had raised slogans against Punia’s detention outside Delhi Police Headquarters
After Punia’s arrest, the ‘Journalists’ had protested at the Delhi Police headquarters on Sunday demanding the release of Mandeep Punia. Police had said that Punia was standing with the protesters, and he did not have a press ID card. He was trying to move through the barricades that were kept to secure the area. An altercation broke out between police personnel and him, after which he was arrested.
The protest outside Delhi Police Headquarters made it quite clear that for certain ‘journalists,’ misbehaving with the Police falls under the purview of ‘press freedom’ as well.