New Delhi: The prime accused in the Junaid Khan lynching case, Naresh Kumar was granted bail by both the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday. Kumar, who has been in custody since July last year was granted interim bail on the grounds of the order passed by Justice Daya Chaudhary- which said that a stay has been ordered by the Supreme Court (SC) on the proceedings of the case before the trial court.

The main accused, Naresh Kumar is facing charges under Indian Penal Code (IPC’s) section 298 (uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person), section 323 voluntarily causing hurt), section 324 (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), section 341 (wrongful restraint), section 301 (culpable homicide) and section 302 (murder) before the trial court. Kumar’s lawyer demanded bail to be granted to his client as he had spent more than a year in judicial custody.

Kumar’s bail plea had been dismissed by Additional Sessions, Judge Narendra Sharma, this year in June stating that the allegations levelled against him were of ‘serious nature’ and that there is also a possibility of pressurising the prosecution witnesses if he was granted bail.

In the order passed earlier, Sharma had said, “The accused cannot take the ground of parity for the reason that he has been shown as the main accused and the causing of injuries with sharp edge weapon have been attributed to the present accused.” He had also mentioned back then that serving a year-long sentence did not entitle the accused to get bail.

Last year, 16-year-old Junaid, his brother and two cousins were attacked on a Mathura-bound train. The teenager was stabbed to death and it has also been alleged that communal slurs were hurled at them. Five other accused in the case have already been granted bail in the case.

On the other hand, the Uttar Pradesh Navnirman Sena, a radical Hindutva outfit based in Meerut, is planning to field Naresh Kumar Sehrawat, the prime accused in hacking Khan to death, in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.