The Bombay High Court on Tuesday granted bail to a man accused of obstructing a team of health workers constituted for collecting data regarding the pandemic of Covid-19, observing that he acted in an 'irresponsible manner' and directed him to pay Rs.10,000 to Chief Minister's Relief Fund.
Justice Bharati Dangre heard the bail application filed by 55-year-old Zafar Jamal Khan, who was booked for offences under Section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and Section 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the IPC read with Section 51(B) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
The FIR was registered against Khan on a complaint filed by an official of the Nyay Nagar Police Station who reported that when the team constituted for collecting the data in light of the Pandemic Covid-19, visited the society, the applicant who was present in the society premises created an obstruction and he persuaded the members of the society not to share any information. Some heated arguments took place on the spot.
Advocate Siddhesh Samel appeared on behalf of the applicant and PP Deepak Thakare for the State.
"Perusal of the FIR which, in detail, narrates what transpired on the spot. It does disclose that there was some obstruction on the part of the applicant to the Government Servants who were present on the spot to collect the necessary data. Similarly, there were also certain allegations levelled by the applicant that the information is likely to be misused by the agency and he persuaded the members of the society not to share the information."
Justice Dangre observed that the perusal of the said FIR, "do not disclose the ingredients of Section 353 being made out.
Prima facie, reading of the FIR does not make out any ingredients of Section 353 of the IPC which has been invoked and applied against the applicant. As far as the other offences are concerned, including the offence under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 being bailable, the present application seeking bail under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure deserves to be allowed."
However, certain conditions were imposed on the applicant's bail. Most importantly, he was directed to deposit Rs.10,000 in the CM Relief Fund after his release. Court said-
"Applicant is directed to be released forthwith, however subject to a caveat. The applicant had behaved in an irresponsible manner and particularly at a time when every citizen of this country is expected to cooperate with those rendering useful services to prevent the spread of Pandemic Covid-19, he is directed to deposit an amount of Rs.10,000 in the CM Relief Fund after his release."
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