Legal Victory for Voices for Freedom: Eight Sikhs Acquitted*

| March 31, 2014 | 0 Comments


Mohali, Panjab, India:
Eight Sikhs were acquitted on Wednesday the 26th of March, by Dilbagh Singh Johal, the Additional Sessions Judge of the Mohali District Court.  The charges were related to unlawful activities, illegal possession of explosives and firearms.

Based on an ‘anonymous’ tip made in 2010, Panjab police arrested Parshotam Singh, the main accused for conspiring to commit terrorist activities in Panjab, India. Later, Daljit Singh, Dharmendra Singh, Balvir Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Harminder Singh, Nirmal Singh and Piara Singh were accused and arrested on similar charges.

Highlighting the abuse of power and fabrication of charges in this case, Brijinder Singh , Voices For Freedom (VFF) attorney and counsel for all alleged eight accused said, “Police abducted Parshotam Singh from Paonta Sahib, Himachal Pradesh, three days before showing his arrest from Nabha Sahib, Zirakpur, Punjab. Making the circumstances of the arrest and charges questionable”.

Reading the submitted charge-sheet Mr. Singh  stated that, “The police had then claimed to have recovered from Parshotam Singh three kilograms of RDX, a 0.5 handgun, and cash consisting of one lakh rupees. They had also claimed that Mr. Singh and his associates were planning to trigger an explosion during the 2010 Commonwealth games, which were being held in New Delhi, India.”

Mr. Singh observed that “ it is also notable that the authenticity of these police claims were totally unfounded, and came at a time when local government and police wanted public support”.

Explaining the sensitivity and the struggle involved in such cases, he further adds, “It is hard for the accused to find appropriate legal representation because many attorneys don’t entertain such high risk cases.”   Applauding the transparency in the judgment he further adds,  “ Though we have not received the copy of the judgment order so far, I would like to congratulate the judge for setting such a precedent. This decision will encourage an unbiased legal representation and outlook towards such cases.”

He further adds, “It is very rare that the local trial court has acquitted everyone. Their acquittal is definitely a positive step towards justice”.

Identifying wrongful conviction human rights abuse is unquestionably a first step towards fighting it.  Implementing Voice For Freedom’s mission to be the voice of the voiceless and oppressed, VFF thanks everyone for its continuous support, and promises to continue its fight against injustice.

You may read a previous press release on Voices For Freedom’s advocacy for human rights at http://voicesforfreedom.org/press-releases/professor-devinderpal-singh-bhullars-death-sentence-on-hold-till-his-mercy-plea-is-decided-indias-central-government-to-supreme-court-of-india/

Issued by

Jaspreet Kaur

Legal Fellow

Info@voicesforfreedom.org

Ph: +1 857 222 8180

 

 

*  Correction- In this case, VFF represented some of the accused, but the judgment cited by VFF attorneys during the case played the major role in their acquittal.

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