Labour activist Naudeep Kaur granted bail by HC

Chandigarh, February 26 dmanewsdesk:  Around six weeks after her arrest in a criminal case filed under several charges including attempt to murder, labour rights activist Naudeep Kaur was on Friday granted bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

“The court accepted the bail application of Naudeep Kaur. She has been granted bail by the high court,” her counsel Arshdeep Singh Cheema said here.

Kaur was arrested in Haryana’s Sonipat for allegedly gheraoing an industrial unit and demanding money from a company on January 12.

Police had claimed that a team of cops was allegedly attacked with sticks, resulting in injuries to seven policemen in the incident.

A case under several sections of the Indian Penal Code including 307 (attempt to murder), 384 (punishment for extortion), 148 (rioting), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 379 B (snatching and use of force) was registered by the Sonipat police.

Kaur’s bail plea came up for hearing on Friday.

Justice Avneesh Jhingan while allowing Kaur’s bail petition said in his order, .it will suffice that the petitioner shall maintain a restrain while being on bail to ensure that no law and order issue arises due to her actions.

The court of single bench cited that the Supreme Court in case of Anita Thakur and others versus Govt. of J&K and others, 2016, held that holding of peaceful demonstration is a right which can be traced to the fundamental right but this right is subject to reasonable restriction.

It would be appropriate to say that the right to peaceful protest is circumscribed by a thin line. The crossing of line may change the colour of protest. It would be subject matter of trial as to whether the line for peaceful protest was crossed in the alleged incident or not, as per order.

Considering the material placed on record before this Court, the issue with regard to invoking of Section 307, 332, 353 and 379-B IPC would be a debatable issue and to be considered during the trial, according to the order.

The Court observed, The petitioner is in custody since 12.1.2021. Albeit the matter is under investigation but that itself would not be sufficient ground to deny personal liberty to the petitioner.

Meanwhile, according to a medical examination report which was placed before the high court on Friday, Kaur had purplish bruises of around 10×7 cm present over LT (left) thigh, lateral aspect, bruises of around 5X6 cm over RT (right) buttock.

The court on February 24 had directed the State of Haryana to place on record the medical report of Kaur.

The medical examination of Kaur was conducted at Sonipat civil hospital on January 25 on the orders of a Sonipat court.

In her bail plea, the 23-year-old activist had claimed to have been severely beaten up at a police station after she was arrested by the Sonipat police on January 12.

The Haryana police however had denied the charge as “baseless”.

Kaur had also claimed that she was falsely arraigned as accused in an FIR lodged under various sections, including 307 (attempt to murder), of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The activist had also claimed she was targeted and falsely implicated in the case as she was successful in generating massive support for the ongoing farmers’ movement against the Centre’s three contentious farm laws.

Kaur is lodged in Haryana’s Karnal jail. She is a member of the Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan and a resident of Giadarh village in Punjab’s Muktsar district.

On February 24, the high court had posted the hearing on her bail plea to Friday.

Earlier, a court in Sonipat had granted bail to Kaur in two separate cases of extortion, rioting and other charges.

Meanwhile, Kaur’s family expressed happiness at the activist being granted bail.

Her sister Rajveer Kaur said the family was happy that she would be released from jail. “She had to spend one-and-a-half months in jail, said Rajveer who is pursuing PhD from Delhi University.

She said Naudeep will walk out of jail once necessary legal formalities regarding her bail order are completed.

Her mother Swarnjit Kaur said she was happy over the bail granted to Naudeep Kaur.

Being her mother, I am extremely happy. Now after she comes out of jail, we will be able to ask her what she has gone through, said Swarnjit Kaur.

She said she was not able to meet her daughter ever since she was in jail.

Source: PTI