Granting bail to a former MP and five others, the Jharkhand High Court has directed the six petitioners to deposit Rs 35,000 each in the ‘Prime Minister’s Citizens Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund’, formed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aside from this, the court directed the six to download the ‘Aarogya Setu App’ immediately after being released from custody. The app, launched by the government, aims to notify users if they come in contact with any COVID-19 positive person at any given point, and whether there are chances to get infected.
While hearing the bail plea, the petitioners’ counsel had submitted that they shall “abide by any condition that may be put by this court including any contribution in the PM-CARES Fund.” The court then ordered Rs 35,000 each to be deposited in the PM-CARES Fund prior to their release and demanded a proof of the payment as the condition to their release.
The six petitioners, including former BJP MP Som Marandi, Vivekanand Tiwari, Amit Agrawal, Hisabi Rai, Sanchay Bardhan, and Anugrah Prasad were booked for staging a rail roko in 2012 and were later convicted by Railway judicial magistrate and sentenced to one year in prison under Section 174(a) Railways Act in 2017. A review of the order was dismissed by the trial court.
In its order, the High Court granted bail to the petitioners, on the condition that:
(i) The petitioners shall show proof of payment of Rs. 35,000/-(Thirty Five thousand) 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.
(ii) The petitioners shall download the ‘Aarogya Settu App’ immediately after being released from custody and shall abide by the directions of the Central Government as well as State Government issued in connection with containment of Covid-19 pandemic
(iii) The petitioners will submit self attested copy of their Aadhar Card and also give their mobile number before the learned court below which they will not change during the pendency of this case without prior permission of this court.
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