The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday allowed the bail application moved by five persons accused of carrying chicken meat, in violation of the lockdown measures.
The accused, Mohd. Asjad Gazi, Irshad Raza, Nihaluddin, Mohd. Aqeel and Mohd. Shahid, had been apprehended on April 13, allegedly while carrying 3 quintals chicken meat in a four-wheeler loader, in violation of the terms and conditions of Lockdown. Accordingly, they were booked under Sections 188, 268, 269, 270, 467, 468, 420, 471 of IPC, Section 3 of the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 and Section 51 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005
They had approached the High Court seeking bail on the ground of false implication.
It was contended that carrying of "chicks, eggs and meat" was an exempted activity during the lockdown.
"Joint Secretary, Government of India, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, Dairying has also issued a clarification in pursuance of its earlier advisory dated 10.02.2020 that many states have not considered live chicks, eggs and meat in the list of commodities to be exempted from the Lock Down. Therefore, on 30.03.2020, the Ministry has requested to States to issue necessary direction to include the live chicks, eggs and meat in the list of commodities to be exempted from the Lock Down…
Director of Animal Husbandry, U.P. had also issued a clarification vide letter dated 03.04.2020 that the "chicks, eggs and meat" are also categorised as an Essential Commodities. Therefore no offence is made out under the aforesaid sections," the applicants' counsel had submitted.
In these circumstances, the bench of Justice Rajeev Singh enlarged the accused on bail, on furnishing personal bonds.
"Considering the rival submissions of learned counsel for parties, material available on record as well as totality of fact and circumstances, and without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, I am of the view that the applicants are entitled to be released on bail," he held.
Significantly, the state counsel had also conceded the fact that chicken meat is an exempted commodity from the Lock Down. He had however opposed the bail application while emphasizing that the Applicants were carrying chicken meat on the basis of "forged pass".
Case Title: Mohd. Asjad Gazi & Ors. v. State of UP
Case No.: BA No. 2833/2020
Quorum: Justice Rajeev Singh
Appearance: Advocates Ajay Kumar Shukla and KK Sharma (for Applicants); AGA (for State)