THE Supreme Court of India has granted bail in one of the cases against Jagtar Singh Johal in a “major breakthrough” six years after his arrest and torture.

Johal, known as Jaggi, from Dumbarton, was detained after he was accused of helping to fund a Sikh-on-Hindu assassination plot in India following his wedding in 2017, an accusation strongly denied by Johal and his family.

Previously, an investigation by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found there was no legal basis for his imprisonment.

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However, the 36-year-old has remained in custody in India while his family have relentlessly campaigned for his release.

And now, the Supreme Court of India upheld an earlier High Court decision by granting bail in one of the nine cases against Johal, rejecting the state’s appeal.

The Court found that his six-year continued imprisonment violated Johal’s rights under India’s constitution.

Johal (pictured below) will not be released on bail as the ruling only applies to one out of nine cases currently against him.

The National: Protests showing support for Jagtar Singh Johal were staged in Edinburgh and Birmingham yesterday

Human rights group Reprieve, which is assisting Johal and his family, called on the UK Government to reconsider its refusal to recognise his arbitrary detention and seek his release.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has previously refused to commit to seeking the release of Johal.

The Supreme Court rejected the Additional Solicitor General of India’s argument that the serious nature of the charges justified Jagtar’s continued imprisonment and asked to see the evidence against him.

However, when the prosecution provided nothing but witness statements, the Court dismissed its appeal against bail being granted. The Additional Solicitor General protested: "But your lordship he's a British national".

The judges responded: "We know how to keep foreign nationals safe in this country, don't worry. Dismissed".

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Jaggi’s brother, Gurpreet Singh Johal, said of the ruling: “This is a major breakthrough in the case. It’s been almost six years but finally, we can see light at the end of the tunnel.

“We have known all along that Jagtar’s imprisonment was unjust – and now the highest court in India has recognised it.

“There is still much work to do, to get Jagtar home where he belongs, around the dinner table with us in Dumbarton, but today I feel more hopeful than I have in a very long time.”

Maya Foa, Reprieve’s director, said that the Supreme Court of India had rejected a “flimsy” case brought by the state.

The National: Jagtar's brother GurpreetJagtar's brother Gurpreet

“Prosecutors have had almost six years to build a case against Jagtar, since the moment he was snatched off the street and tortured into making a false confession,” she said.

“Today the Supreme Court of India rejected that flimsy case, finding that they simply do not have enough evidence to justify keeping Jagtar in prison.

“The Court’s resounding judgment this morning makes clear that Jagtar’s continued imprisonment is a terrible injustice, underscoring the UK Government's failure to recognise his arbitrary detention or seek his release.

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“It is surely time for the UK to request his return to his family in Scotland."

We previously told how the UN working group cited multiple violations of Johal’s rights while he has been imprisoned in India, including claims he was tortured into signing a “false confession” through electric shocks to his ear lobes, nipples and genitals.

Criticism has been levelled at the UK Government for failing to secure Johal’s release, amid accusations that Tory ministers were prioritising a trade deal with India.

The National: Jagtar's family marked 2000 days since his arrest earlier this yearJagtar's family marked 2000 days since his arrest earlier this year (Image: NQ)

Martin Docherty-Hughes, the family’s MP, has been leading a cross-party campaign to secure Johal’s release.

Earlier this year, Johal’s family and the SNP MP marked 2000 days since the arrest of the Scot, and called on the UK Government to intervene.

The Foreign Office said it has “consistently” raised concerns over Johal’s case with the Indian Government, including the allegations of torture and right to a fair trial.