June 17, 2020 2:28:47 pm
The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday granted bail to state Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu in a case related to allegedly providing fake documents of buses, which the party had arranged to transport stranded migrant labourers from UP border to their home districts during the nationwide lockdown.
Lallu was arrested by Lucknow police in Agra on May 20 soon after he was granted bail for holding protests.
Granting him bail on a personal bond and two sureties to the satisfaction of the court, Justice Attau Rahman Masoodi of the High Court termed the facts of the case “peculiar” and said “the trial court… seems to have erred in rejecting the prayer for bail… A case for grant of bail is made out and more particularly when Covid-19 is constantly threatening human life”.
On June 1, a special MP-MLA court in Lucknow had rejected the bail plea of Lallu, saying the charges against the Congress leader were “serious in nature”.
Lallu has been booked under several IPC sections — from forgery and cheating to criminal conspiracy.
The High Court said that while the courts of law must maintain a distance from making an estimate of political gain or loss, it is the duty of the government and the Opposition to deliver more solutions to public grievances instead of engaging in conflicts.
It is disturbing that the government and the Opposition party are at loggerheads on an issue which has no legal sanctity, Justice Masoodi said in his order.
The High Court also questioned the Congress offer to provide buses to the state government to transport stranded migrant workers during the coronavirus lockdown.
It is true that the Prime Minister and chief ministers had solicited monetary support in view of the pandemic, but there was no appeal for any other service like transportation, Justice Masoodi said, adding “there was no occasion for any voluntary organisation or a political organisation to have offered transport services or any other service not solicited by the prime minister or chief minister of the state”.
The Bench further said that it was not for the court to examine whether such a decision of the government was good or bad, but added that “services which should have reached the sufferers directly, instead of the government, and if it did, any defect in service was to be viewed according to procedure prescribed under the law”.
The government counsel, Anurag Verma, opposing the bail application had argued that the investigation in the case was “at a nascent stage”. Lallu, who was represented by senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, however, sought his immediate release.
Lallu was arrested in Agra on May 19 as he held protests against the state government for not allowing their buses to ferry the stranded migrants. Within minutes of his release next day, a team of Lucknow Police arrested Lallu in a case of alleged forgery of documents for the buses.
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