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Journalist Mandeep Punia granted bail, court says 'bail is a rule and jail is an exception'

Delhi court cites legal principle of law that 'bail is a rule and jail is an exception' to release journalist Mandeep Punia on bail.

Journalist Mandeep Punia granted bail by Delhi Court-VPN
New Delhi, First Published Feb 2, 2021, 5:17 PM IST
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A Delhi court today granted bail to journalist Mandeep Punia, who was arrested on January 30 by the Delhi Police while covering the farmers protest at the Singhu border.

Punia, a freelancer and contributor to Caravan magazine, was released after the court found that keeping him in judicial custody would serve no cogent purpose. 

"It is a 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, he is admitted to bail on furnishing a bail bond on Rs 25,000," Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Satvir Singh Lamba ruled.

The Delhi Police has accused Punia of abusing a station house officer on duty at the Singhu border.

The Editor's Guild had condemned the arrest, calling it an attempt to muzzle "young courageous voices of independent journalists" who are through reporting are "busting fake news and speaking truth to power".

The Delhi Police had opposed the bail on the grounds that the journalist may influence the probe and try to instigate protestors.

The court, however, observed that "there was no possibility that the accused/applicant can influence any of police officials"

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