The case has been sent back to the Chief Justice who will now decide on the next judge to preside over the hearing.
Kishore is currently out on interim bail, which the HC granted to her on May 6. She walked out of Ludhiana jail on Sunday after furnishing the bail bonds.
According to the Punjab Police, Ludhiana Commissionerate Police on May 5 arrested three persons, including Bhawana Kishore for hitting a woman with a speeding car and also hurling casteist slurs at her. The other two arrested are video journalist Mritunjay Kumar and driver Parminder, who are still lodged in jail.
After Kishore was granted interim bail, the media group had claimed that it has been subjected to “brazen harassment” and “intimidation tactics” following the findings of ‘Operation Sheesh Mahal’, which allegedly uncovered the disproportionate expenditure incurred in refurbishing the official residence of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s Delhi minister Atishi backed the Punjab government and alleged that the news channel is ‘anti-Dalit’. “The court prima facie found the TV reporter guilty and sent her to custody till May 19. BJP and Times Now channels are anti-Dalit. Do they not trust the court?” Atishi said in a tweet.
National Commission for Women chief Rekha Sharma has also taken cognizance of the matter and sought a detailed action taken report in connection with the matter within four days from the state DGP. In a letter, dated May 6, the NCW chief has also asked the DGP to present a copy of the FIR before the commission.
The Editors Guild of India (EGI) has also urged the Punjab government to release all the arrested on regular bail.
(With inputs from agencies)