Journalist Mandeep Punia gets bail

Mandeep Punia, who was manhandled and arrested by Delhi police on 30 January from the Singhu border while covering farmers protests, has been granted bail by a Delhi court on Tuesday, Live Law reported.

According to Live Law, noting that there is no possibility that accused/ applicant is able to influence any of the police officials and no recovery is to be effected from Punia, the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Satvir Singh Lamba granted him Bail on furnishing bail bond in a sum of Rs.25,000/- along with one sound surety in the like amount.

Punia is a contributor to The Caravan magazine and Junputh news website and a freelance journalist based in Haryana.

“Accused is a freelance journalist and not carrying a press card can be no grounds for a case or arrest. The accused is a well-respected member of the society being a journalist, including being a frequent contributor to the Caravan magazine,” Advocate Akram Khan, appearing for Punia told the court.

The Delhi police sought the dismissal of bail application, saying he may again indulge in instigating the protesters and create nuisance at the protest site.

Early in the morning of January 31, Delhi police opened an investigation into Punia for allegedly violating four sections of the Indian penal code pertaining to obstructing and assaulting police personnel, according to a copy of the police complaint. On Sunday, the court ordered him to be held in judicial custody for 14 days pending investigation.