Freelance journalist Mandeep Punia granted bail

Bail is a rule and jail is an exception, the court notes.

Credit : The Indian Express

Freelance journalist Mandeep Punia, who was detained from Delhi's Singhu border, has been granted bail by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, North District, Rohini Courts (Delhi), Live Law reported. The Court stated that it is a legal principle of law that "bail is a rule and jail is an exception".

Punia was detained while covering protests for allegedly misbehaving with police personnel. He was slammed with IPC section 353, 332 and 186 for using criminal force to any person being a public servant, voluntarily causing hurt to any person being a public servant and voluntarily obstructing any public servant in the discharge of his public functions.

The court pointed out that there was a delay in registering an FIR, as the incident was reported to have happened at around 6:30 am, while the FIR was registered after 1 am on the next day. “Hence, there is no possibility that the accused/applicant is able to influence any of the police officials," the court said. It was also noted that the complainant, victims and witnesses are police personnel only. Punia was granted bail on furnishing bail of Rs 25,000.

Several organisations and journalists had demanded the release of Punia. He was arrested while covering the farmers' protest at Singhu border for Caravan Magazine. Caravan's Editor Hartosh Singh Bal had also tweeted in support of Punia. Samyukta Kisan Morcha had also criticised the attacks on the journalists covering the protests.