No coercive steps shall be taken, says court.

No coercive steps shall be taken, says court.

The Punjab and Haryana Court on Tuesday extended the protection from arrest granted to BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga in connection with the inflammatory remarks case.

Justice Anoop Chitkara’s Bench pointed out in its order that the Advocate General of Punjab had submitted that they needed to place on record additional documents in the case and, in the meantime, had assured the court that the arrest warrants against the petitioner shall not be executed.

“Given the concession made by learned Advocate General, Punjab, the warrants of arrest issued against the petitioner by the concerned Court in the present FIR shall not be executed till the next date of hearing. Furthermore, no coercive steps shall be taken against the petitioner till the next date of hearing. It is clarified that in case the police want to interrogate the petitioner, it shall do so only at the place of his residence in Delhi and that too, only twice before the next date of hearing. The petitioner shall be interrogated only for one hour each time between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m in the presence of his counsel. The investigation team shall not consist of more than three persons and it shall be led by an officer not below the rank of an IPS officer,” read the order.

The next date of hearing has been fixed for July 6.

Last week, Mr. Bagga approached the High Court, seeking a stay on his arrest, hours after a local court in Punjab issued his non-bailable arrest warrant in the case. He was then granted protection from arrest till May 10.

Mr. Bagga has sought quashing of the FIR against him and a stay on consequent proceedings. Senior advocate Chetan Mittal, counsel for Mr. Bagga, said the FIR was a clear abuse of the process of law, malafide and filed with ulterior motive of political gain and based on concealment and manipulation of facts.

Punjab Police had registered the FIR on April 1, 2022 under sections 153A, 505, 505(2), and 506 of the India Penal Code, accusing Mr. Bagga of causing instigation-incitement-criminal intimidation to cause violence, use of force, and imminent hurt in a predesigned and orchestrated manner by making-publishing provocative, false and communal inflammatory statements through his interview given to the media and through his posts on Twitter.

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