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HIGH COURT OF CHANDIGARH AND HARAYANA REJECTS BAIL APPLICATION OF THREE SIKH POLITICAL PRISONERS, PAL SINGH, GURMUKH SIKH AND MAKHAN SINGH

Today we bring you an important update on the legal cases of three sikh political prisoners, Pal Singh, Makhan SIngh and Gurmukh Singh. In 2013, an Amritsar Sessions Court took a very disturbing step when it convicted these three men under the Arms Act and the Unlawful Activities Act. All three were handed a harsh sentence of ten years in prison and ordered to pay heavy fines. This is a controversial case as they are the first Sikhs in Punjab to be convicted under this archaic Act from 1967, which allows for anyone to be labelled a ‘terrorist’ and can be used indiscriminately by the police and authorities in the absence of concrete evidence or witnesses.
Today a High Court session took place in Chandigarh and Harayana to hear the two matters put forward by the Sikh Relief legal council compromising of Advocate Balbir Singh Saini. They were:-

1: Appeal application against the conviction given to all three men under the Unlawful Activities Act.

2: Application for bail release for all three men.

The judge announced that a bail release could not be given but he conceded that he would hear the matter regarding the appeal in the near future. This news brings little comfort because ‘in the near future’ can translate months or even years for the entire process to reach any kind of outcome.

Human rights organisations have generally regarded the Punjab police as one of the most corrupt, ruthless and lawless police forces of Asia, and criticised the Indian Judiciary for allowing their concocted "evidence" and "charges" into the courts.

The SIkh Relief legal team is now exploring other options available to move this and other cases like this forward, one being to apply for bail release via the Supreme Court. We will bring you more on this case as it progresses.  

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