New Delhi, India, 11 January 2017. The Supreme Court of India (SCI) today acquitted a 1987 TADA case related to Ludhiana Bank robbery acquitting all 10 elderly Sikhs who were convicted of a 10 years term by a trial court in 2012.
On November 20, 2012, a TADA Court in Ludhiana sentenced 10 Sikhs to 10 years imprisonment, in the Ludhiana Bank robbery case dating back to 12 February, 1987. The designated TADA court had sentenced these 12 Sikhs to 10 years imprisonment each.
Of these 12 persons, Bhai Daljeet Singh and Bhai Gursharan Singh Gamma had completed their sentence, while remaining 10 Sikhs were sent to prisons.
Advocate Jaspal Singh Manjhpur, who maintains the list of Sikh Political Prisoners, told Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) over phone that the court of Pinaki Ghosh, J. and Nariman, J. heard the appeal today where Senior Advocate Vikram Chaudhary, K T S Tulsi (Senior Advocate), Sangram Singh Saron (Advocate), Manish (Advocate) and R K Kapoor (Advocate) appeared as defense lawyers.
The court observed that the 10 appealing individuals were not involved in the bank robbery therefore TADA was not applicable to them. The court also observed that the 10 were not part of a conspiracy to conduct the said act therefore they could not be convicted.
In regards to the cash recovered from the prisoners at the time of arrest, the court observed that the CBI has failed to prove that such cash was actually connected to the concerned bank in Ludhiana.
Advocate Jaspal Singh Manjhpur said that Bapu Assa Singh has been on bail for the last two years while the other 9 elderly Sikhs were still languishing in prisons. He said that the release of these 9 Sikhs is expected expected within the coming days.
These 10 Sikhs include Bapu Assa Singh, aged over 96 years, (on Bail), S. Maan Singh, aged 70, of Dholewal (Ludhaina), Avtar Singh, aged 78; Mohan Singh, 74, of Pattar Kalan (Jalandhar); Harbhajan Singh, 86, of Sharihn; Saroop Singh, 68, of Bisrampur (Jalandhar); Balwinder Singh, 64, of Village Tahli (Jalandhar) and Sewa Singh, 75, of Chak Raju Singh (Hoshiarpur); Gurjant Singh, aged 74 and Harinder Singh, aged 57.