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Cyber crime accused Pankaj Gupta granted bail

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jul 28, 2020 10:14 am

Our Correspondent

Kohima, July 28 (EMN): Cyber crime accused Pankaj Gupta, who was arrested for his allegations levelled against the government of Nagaland, was granted bail by Gauhati High Court on Monday.

The Gauhati High Court in an order passed on July 27 stated that the accused will be released on furnishing of PR (personal recognisance) bond of INR one 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 I.O (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 ruled and disposed of the bail application.

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 Coronavirus among the people to get more fund from the Central Government. He also challenged the chief minister for a debate on Covid-19 management in the state.

After the video went viral, an FIR was registered at Cyber PS, PHQ, Kohima.

Following which, Nagaland police and Haryana police in a joint effort, arrested Gupta on June 9, from Kurukshetra in Haryana and had brought him to Nagaland for further investigations.

He was arrested based on the 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 lawyer, Joshua Sheqi has submitted that the crime committed by the accused are not heinous and the maximum punishment that can 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”, Sheqi submitted.

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 court 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, vesus the state of Nagaland. Public prosecutor K Wotsa was the advocate of the respondent.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jul 28, 2020 10:14:37 am