The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday extended the relief granted to TV journalist Bhawana Kishore and also granted the photographer and her driver temporary bail until May 22.

Judge Augustine George Masih also raised questions about the arrest and detention of photographer Mrityunjay Kumar and driver Parminder Singh on charges that could be released on bail, while he considered that “the continued detention of a citizen without a legal authorization cannot be allowed.” The court set May 22 as the next date for the hearing in this case.

“This verdict is a huge relief after the ordeal endured by the channel and the tortured trio,” the Times Now Navbharat newspaper said in a statement.

The three were arrested by Punjab police after their car hit a woman in Ludhiana on Friday. An FIR was registered against them at Section No. 3 of the Police Station on May 5th. While Mrityunjay and Parminder are booked under sections 279, 337 and 427 of the IPC, while Kishore is booked under sections 279, 337 and 427 of the IPC along with sections 3 and 4 of the Scheduled Caste and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Several press organizations condemned the police action after the TV reporter was booked under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, along with reckless driving charges, and “detention”.

Later, the journalist and two others moved the Supreme Court, demanding that the FIR against them be annulled. The TV channel said in an earlier statement that it had been invited to cover a political program of the League in Ludhiana.


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