On Friday, a Mumbai Court granted bail to 10 citizens of Indonesia, who were arrested by Mumbai Police for allegedly causing threat to the health of the community by intentionally flouting the lockdown rules.
These persons, all Muslims, upon returning to Mumbai from Delhi on March 08, were quarantined by the police and were also tested for COVID19. Despite all of them testing negative for coronavirus, the police arrested them for offences under Sections 188, 269, 270, 304 (2) and 307 of IPC r/w
Sections 3 and 4 of Epidemic Disease Act, r/w Section 21 of Maharashtra Covid19 Rules 2020 r/w Section 14 (B) of Foreigners Act r/w Section 51 of National Disaster Management Act 2005.
Arguing against the bail, the police submitted that the applicants, despite knowing the situation, have defied the statutory order resulting into apprehension to the life of community members.
It was further argued by the police that the applicants have violated the terms of visa and there is every likelihood of fleeing from the course of justice if released on bail.
While going through the status report filed by the police, the court observed that there is no material to show that applicants had any mens rea to commit the alleged offence.
The court observed that:
All the applicants have tested negative for COVID19. Hence, there is no propriety in contending that they are responsible for spreading the infectious Covid19.
While highlighting the the status report filed by the police nowhere shows that the applicants have actually contributed to the spread of the infectious disease, and that they entered India on a Carlos passport and visa, the court noted that the allegations under Sections 304 (2) and 307 of
IPC prima facie are not attracted to the present matter.
Therefore, in light of exceeding strength of prisoners in jail which makes inmates vulnerable to catching the COVID19 infection, the court granted bail to all of the 10 applicants.
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