Offensive social media posts no evidence that person is a member of a terrorist group: High Court: The Tribune India

Tribune press service

Saurabh Malik

Chandigarh, January 14

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that “certain Khalistan mentions” of “offensive nature” spotted in a person’s social media account will not constitute conclusive evidence of membership in a terrorist group.

The sighting follows an appeal filed under the National Investigation Agency Act against an order, dated February 4, 2021, made by the NIA Special Judge of Mohali, denying his request for release. on bail in an FIR registered on September 23, 2019. The bench was advised that initially an FIR was registered on September 5, 2019 for culpable homicide not constituting murder under Section 304 of the ICC and the provisions of the law on explosive substances at the Sadar police station in Tarn Taran.

The Chamber observed that the Special Judge denied the bail application, although the Applicant’s name was not found in the FIR. According to the prosecution case, he left during the

investigation that the caller was associated with a pro-Khalistan terrorist gang to support the Khalistan movement. Due to his close ties with co-defendants, he had advocated/encouraged/advised/incited the commission of terrorist offenses and had also been associated with the co-defendants in testing bombs.

Bench GS Sandhawalia and Judge Vikas Suri claimed, “Mainly because there are mentions of Khalistani spotted in his social media account, which are offensive in nature, which show that there are two phone numbers cell phone which were registered as ‘Guri Khalistani’ and another cell phone number in which the entry reads as ‘Khalistan Jindabad’ would not as such constitute conclusive evidence that the caller is a member of a terrorist group,” the Chamber added.

Before parting with the order, the Chamber added that the appellant had been detained for almost two years and four months. The trial was not likely to conclude in the near future. The court, in view of the evidence gathered against him in the course of the investigation, was of the considered opinion that it could be safely recorded that the accusation was not, prima facie, true. He was entitled to the benefit of regular bail for the duration of the trial.

Headquarters also ordered the production of the Appellant before the Special Court within one week to allow him to apply for bail by posting surety bonds. The Special Court will impose a condition that the appellant report to the local police station every 15 days.

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