The Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted bail to journalist Bhawana Kishore and two others on Tuesday. Justice Augustine George Masis questioned the reason for their arrest and subsequent remand order by the magistrate.
The three had moved the high court to quash the FIR registered under the provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the provisions of the IPC. They claimed that the case was nothing but a political witch-hunt on the part of the State of Punjab.
Senior advocates RS Rai and Chetan Mittal with counsel Gautam Dutt appeared before the bench on behalf of the petitioners. The plea added that the news channel Bhawana was working for had been reporting against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for constructing/renovating his official residence at the cost of Rs 45 crore.
“As a counterblast and to teach a lesson to the news channel, the present false case has been registered against the petitioners, who are innocent and being framed,” the plea stated.
According to the petition, the group she works for got an invitation for the inauguration of a government-run clinic in Ludhiana. While they were returning, their car brushed past a rickshaw after which they were asked to come out of the vehicle. On the arrival of police, they were illegally detained and taken into police custody.
Thereafter, a story was framed alleging that a Ludhiana resident was on her way along with two others to attend the inauguration of the clinic by the Delhi Chief Minister and was hit by a rashly-driven vehicle, resulting in injury to her right hand. Her phone also fell down. It was also alleged that the petitioners during the altercation used derogatory words against the caste of the complainant, on which the present FIR was registered.