Cyber crime accused Gupta released on bail
Kohima, July 28 (EMN):Cyber crime accused Pankaj Gupta, who has been arrested from Haryana for his allegations against Nagaland government, was granted bail by Gauhati High Court on July 27.
The Gauhati High Court, in an order passed on July 27, stated that the accused would be released on furnishing of PR (personal recognisance) bond of INR 1 lakh with two surety bonds of the like amount which should be furnished by residents of Nagaland and to the satisfaction of the judicial magistrate first class (JMFC), Kohima.
“The accused should also not leave the state of Nagaland without the permission of the IO (investigation officer) of the case and the court concerned. He should also not indulge in any act which would hamper or interfere with the investigation and trial of the case,” the court order stated.
On May 30, Gupta had released a video on YouTube in which he accused the chief minister of Nagaland and his government for intentionally trying to spread the novel coronavirus among the people to get more funds from the central government. He also challenged the chief minister for a debate of Covid-19 management in the state.
After the video went viral, an FIR was registered at Cyber police station, PHQ, Kohima.
Following filing of the FIR, Nagaland and Haryana Police, in a joint effort, arrested Gupta on June 9 from Kurukshetra in Haryana and brought him to Nagaland for further investigations.
He was arrested on non-bailable warrant arrest issued by the judicial magistrate first class, Kohima, and had been charged under IPC Sections 505 (1b), 505 (1c), 505 (2), 153 (A), and 120 (B).
The accused’s lawyer, Joshua Shequi, had submitted that the crime committed by the accused are not heinous and the maximum punishment that could be given to the accused, if found guilty, is only upto three years maximum.
“Therefore, the accused may be granted bail and released on furnishing of PR and surety bond to the satisfaction of the court,” Shequi had pleaded.
The court ruled that “investigation (of the accused) has been completed and the offences are not heinous” and that it “find no reason to keep the accused under judicial custody that too when it would not serve any purpose”.
Further, the HC stated that it did “not find any reason to deny bail to the accused. As such, the petition is allowed”.
The petition was filed by one A Michael Sangtam, a well-wisher of the accused person and a resident of Dimapur, versus the state of Nagaland. Public prosecutor K Wotsa was the advocate of the respondent.