Amidst a galaxy of Sikh leaders from Punjab and Delhi, the two Dal Khalsa activists Satnam Singh Paonta Sahib and Tejinderpal Singh were acquitted by Additional Session Judge Ajay Pandey at the Patiala House courts, New Delhi with the detailed judgement expected within the next few days.
There was an air of uncertainty prior to the judgement which transformed into jubilation and Bole So Nihal and Raj Karega Khalsa slogans, the moment the judge in his courtroom loudly pronounced, “Bari kar diya aapko bhai” – “You have been acquitted”, to which Satnam Singh cheerfully acknowledged and thanked the judge.
“This finally draws curtains on the 37-year-old hijacking case in which 5 hijackers including the present duo had undergone life imprisonment. The prosecution succeeded in reopening the case a few years ago and try two of the accused again, but the court today acquitted the same and justice has been done”, said Maninder Singh, counsel for the accused, who was assisted by Advocates Jasleen Kaur and Harpreet Singh Hora.
Subsequently, Satnam Singh and Tejinderpal Singh told the media that “justice has been served and the wrong which was done to us by foisting a case against us when we had already been discharged after completing a life term, has been corrected by the judge. He thanked God Almighty, the Sikh community and well wishers who had prayed for their acquittal and freedom.
Dal Khalsa party president Harpal Singh Cheema, who was present in the courts said that, “We are happy for Satnam Singh and his family. We believe that the judge has taken a positive decision.” Spokesperson Kanwarpal Singh said that “the judiciary has passed this litmus test and upheld its honour by this judgement because the Sikhs have had a bitter experience of the Indian judiciary over the last few decades. This comes as a saving grace to the party activists who have been acquitted.”