The High Court on Thursday granted bail to two sisters the Anantnag police had booked for allegedly committing offences under Ranbir Penal Code, Jammu & Kashmir Public Property (Prevention of Damages) Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Alok Aradhe granted bail to the girls from Anantnag district and set aside principal district and sessions judge Anantnag's order rejecting their bail plea on 24 July 2018.
The bench ordered the sisters be released on bail in the present case after furnishing bail bonds in the sum of Rs 50,000 with one surety each in the like amount to the satisfaction of the chief judicial magistrate, Anantnag,
In April, police station Anantnag had registered an FIR (no. 60/2018) against these two sisters, besides, Dukhtaran-e-Milat chairperson Asiya Andrabi, general secretary Nahida Nasreen and press secretary Sofi Fahmeeda, under various sections of Ranbir Penal Code, Jammu & Kashmir Public Property (Prevention of Damages) Act, and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The principal sessions court Anantnag had dismissed the bail of the two sisters relying on the judgment of division bench of high court by holding that there was a legal bar created under law for the grant of the bail.
The High Court today while allowing the bail, said: "So far as the allegations against the appellants are concerned, we find that allegations have been made which are general and not specific, bald and overarching," the court said.
The court observed that there can be no dispute so far as the investigation into allegations of commission of offence under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act is concerned as there is compelling State interest in tackling such serious crimes.
"However, mere use of this statutory provision would not ipso facto warrant rejection of applications of bail ignoring the other binding requirement that the State must make out a prima facie case of commission of such offences premised on sound and fair investigations," the court said.
"No report has been made under Section 173 of the Code so far. In this background, there is no material for this Court to conclude that there are reasonable grounds in believing that the accusations made by the prosecution against the present appellants are prima facie true".
"As per the status report and objections to the bail applications filed by the Investigating Officer, who is of the rank of Superintendent of Police, Anantnag, the appellants were not part of the mob which had indulged in the stone pelting. The appellants are not stated to be even present at the spot. No allegation of having caused any damage to public property has been made against these appellants," the court observed.
The appellants were represented by advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom.