In a significant Judgment, the Allahabad High Court has held that apprehension of death on account of COVID19 Pandemic is a sufficient ground for grant of Anticipatory bail to an accused.
Justice Siddharth of Allahabad High Court, while allowing an anticipatory bail application observed:
“The second wave of novel corona virus has given rise to apprehension of death of an accused. If he is arrested and subjected to the subsequent procedures of detention in lock-up, production before the Magistrate, grant or rejection of bail or incarceration in jail, etc., the apprehension to his life will certainly arise.
During the compliance of procedures provided under Cr.P.C. or any special act, an accused will definitely come in contact with number of persons. He will be arrested by police, confined in lock-up, produced before the Magistrate and if his bail application is not granted promptly, he will be sent to jail for an indefinite period till his bail is granted by the Higher Court.
The accused may be suffering from the deadly infections of corona virus, or police personnels, who have arrested him, kept him in lock-up, produced him before the Magistrate and then took him to jail may also be infected persons. Even in jail large number of inmates have been found to be infected. There is no proper testing, treatment and care of the persons confined in jails.”
The Court held that the right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India is paramount and by mere implication in a case of alleged commission of non-bailable offence, right to life of an accused person can not be put to peril.
The Allahabad High Court was hearing an anticipatory bail application filed by one Prateek jain charged under Section 420, 467, 468, 471, 506, 406 IPC.
Even though prior notice was served under the rules of the court, yet the Government Advocate did not had the instructions. AGA submitted that the anticipatory bail cannot be granted on the basis of imaginary fear.
The court rejected the submissions of the Government Advocate and after finding that the apprehension to life in the current scenario is a ground for grant of anticipatory bail to an accused, the Court therefore directed that the applicant, in case of his arrest, shall be enlarged on anticipatory bail for the limited period, till 03 of January, 2022.