Need bail? Contribute to PM-CARES Fund: Patna HC

Patna High Court grants bail on condition of contributing to PM-CARES Fund

Patna High Court

The Patna High Court has reportedly granted bail to three accused, languishing in jail for violating Prohibition Act, on the condition that they donate money in the PM-CARES Fund for COVID-19.

The HC order (a copy is with Deccan Herald) was passed on May 29 by Justice Anjani Kumar Sharan, who heard the parties through the virtual court proceeding and ordered conditional bail of the accused.

In one of the cases, the court ordered that the accused Raushan Kumar be released once he deposits Rs 15,000 in the PM-CARES Fund and shows the receipt to the court. Raushan was arrested in January this year after he was found to be in possession of 382 litres of foreign wine in Bhagalpur.

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Bihar was declared a dry State in April 2016 after the Nitish Kumar Government brought a stringent law which imposed total Prohibition in the State. Under the new legislation, consuming, carrying or dealing with liquor has been declared a criminal offence and the offender could be served a jail sentence of 10 years if found guilty.

Over 46,000 people are reportedly behind bars for violating Prohibition law in Bihar.

Another such case was that of Santosh Sahni and Raghubir Sahni, both resident of Muzaffarpur. They were charged with possession of 1372 litres of foreign liquor in a commercial vehicle and have been languishing in jail since October 2019.

After hearing the case, the court of Justice Anjani Kumar Sharan ordered that both the accused be granted bail once they contribute Rs 40,000 each to the PM-Cares Fund, besides furnishing bail bond of Rs 25,000 each.

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SIMILAR ORDER BY JHARKHAND HC

The bail order comes close on the heels of similar order passed by the Jharkhand High Court in April this year. The Jharkhand HC, while granting bail to a former BJP MP Som Marandi and five others, had asked them to deposit Rs 35,000 each in the PM-CARES Fund.

According to a Live Law report, Justice Anubha Rawat Choudhary also asked the petitioners to download the Arogya Setu App as soon as they were released on bail.

“The petitioners shall show proof of payment of Rs 35,000 each in the ‘Prime Minister’s Citizens Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund’ before the learned court below prior to their release,” the court said in its order.

The former BJP MP and others were booked for holding a ‘rail roko’ agitation.