Pannun Assassination Plot: SC Dismisses Nikhil Gupta's Habeas Corpus Plea

Accused of plotting to assassinate a pro-Khalistan leader, Nikhil Gupta was arrested in the Czech Republic.

2 min read
Hindi Female

The Supreme Court on Thursday, 4 January, dismissed a habeas corpus petition filed on behalf of Nikhil Gupta, an accused charged by the United States Attorney's Office in connection with a foiled plot to assassinate pro-Khalistan leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil.

The apex court called it a sensitive issue and left it to the government to decide whether to intervene in the case, LiveLaw reported.


The Petition 

The habeas corpus petition sought intervention of the Indian government to release Nikhil Gupta from prison in the Czech Republic, alleging that he was subjected to forced consumption of beef and pork during his detention in Czech custody, a direct violation of his religious beliefs, the report added.

The petition further alleges that Gupta’s detention in the Czech Republic is illegal, as there was “no formal arrest and that the detention was at the instance of certain US agents.” 

According to the US' indictment, he, along with others known and unknown, were charged with murder-for-hire conspiracy and murder-for-hire for working “together to carry out a plot directed from India to hire hitmen to assassinate the Victim in the US.”

What Did the Court First Say?

During the previous hearing, the bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Bhatti expressed their lack of inclination to entertain the petition and observed that Gupta must approach the “concerned court” for relief, LiveLaw reported.

"This is an extremely sensitive matter for any Ministry to come in. It's for them to decide...If there's any violation of any law or anything, you'll have to go to the court concerned..." Justice Khanna said.

Meanwhile, appearing for the petitioner, said that he is only pressing the relief for consular access from the Indian Embassy in the Czech Republic.

Posting the petition on 4 January 2024, Justice Khanna said that the bench has not had to time to read the petition in detail.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)


Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from news and world

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More