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Business News/ News / India/  Pannun 'assassination' plot: SC to hear Nikhil Gupta's family petition on 4 January. Details here
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Pannun 'assassination' plot: SC to hear Nikhil Gupta's family petition on 4 January. Details here

Nikhil Gupta, charged by the US with plotting to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, has filed a habeas corpus petition in the Supreme Court of India seeking intervention to free him from custody in the Czech Republic.

Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun is pictured in his office on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, in New York. (Image: AP)Premium
Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun is pictured in his office on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, in New York. (Image: AP)

The Supreme court on 15 December adjourned the matter of the petition filed by the Nikhil Gupta's family to 4 January. 

Nikhil Gupta, who is being held in the Czech Republic after being charged by the US with plotting to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun has knocked doors of the Supreme Court. 

As per the Live Law report, a habeas corpus petition was filed in the top court on behalf of Gupta, requesting the Indian government to intervene and free him from custody.

The bench headed by Justices Sanjiv Khanna and SV Bhatti were hearing the petition. During the hearing, the Justices gave a prima facie opinion, stating that the petitioners would need to go through the Czech Republic court where Gupta is being held.

Also Read: Who is Gurpatwant Singh Pannun? Know more about Sikh separatist leader at the center of ‘assassination bid’ in US

"You have to go before the court which is outside India. Go over there. We are not going to have an adjudication over here. The person detained has not given the affidavit. If there is violation of any law etc you have to go to court over there," the Court as quoted by the Bar and Bench report.

Also Read: Pannun 'assassination' plot: How accused Nikhil Gupta was nabbed in Prague, handed over to US days before indictment

During his detention, the petitioner has alleged that Gupta was compelled to eat meat and pork, which went against his religious convictions. He further alleged that Gupta was refused access to consulates, the freedom to consult with legal counsel, and the ability to communicate with his family in India, the report stated.

The US federal prosecutors charged Nikhil Gupta of working with an Indian government employee in the foiled plot to kill Sikh separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who holds dual citizenship of the US and Canada. India has already constituted a probe team to investigate the allegations.

Also Read: Lok Sabha security breach: When Khalistani terrorist Pannun threatened to ‘attack Parliament on or before Dec 13’

The US Justice Department had claimed that an Indian government employee, who was not identified in the indictment filed in a federal court in Manhattan, recruited a fellow native, identified as Nikhil Gupta, to hire a hitman to allegedly assassinate Pannun. It added that the alleged plot was foiled by the US authorities.

The Justice Department claimed that Gupta, an associate of CC-1 (an unidentified person who directed the alleged plot), described his involvement in international narcotics and weapons trafficking in his communications with CC-1.

The indictment claims CC -1 directed the assassination plot from India. An inquiry team has already been put together in India to look into these claims.

Also Read: What Khalistani separatist Gurpatwant Pannun's failed murder attempt means for India-US ties?

Gupta is currently in custody and has been charged with murder-for-hire, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Czech authorities arrested and detained Gupta on June 30, pursuant to the bilateral extradition treaty between the United States and the Czech Republic.

Also Read: 'Majority of Sikhs don't support Khalistan movement in US', says Indian-American Sikh leader

Back in September, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had made an explosive allegation of a "potential" involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian soil in June. India has strongly rejected the allegations.

Gupta is currently in custody and has been charged with murder-for-hire, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Czech authorities arrested and detained Gupta on June 30, pursuant to the bilateral extradition treaty between the United States and the Czech Republic.

(With PTI, ANI inputs)

 

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Published: 15 Dec 2023, 01:14 PM IST
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