Last week, Justice Jaspreet Singh of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court granted bail to six members of Tablighi Jamaat, who happen to be citizens of Kyrgyzstan.
These bail applicants were arrested under Section 1881 I.P.C., Section 3 of Epidemic Disease Act, 1897, Section 12(3) of the Passport Act, 1967 and Sections 3(2) and Section 3(3) Passports (Entry into India) Act, 1920 and section 14/14-c of the Foreigners Act, 1946 and Section 51 of the Disaster Management Act,2005.
The Bail granted to these six members is subject to the condition that they shall deposit an amount of Rs11,000 each in C.M. Covid – 19 Relief Fund and shall submit a receipt in this regard before the Court concerned. It is to be noted that the applicants before the court, were in Jail since 18.04.2020.
While granting the bail, the Court highlighted the fact that the applicants who have prayed for bail, even though are foreign nationals, cannot be deprived of their personal liberty except in procedure established by law and that they are also entitled to equal protection of law and equality before the law.
Court, in its order said,
‘The law does not permit any differentiation between Indian nationals and foreign citizens in the matter relating to grant of bail. What is permissible while considering the facts and circumstances of each case, the Court can impose different conditions which may be necessary to ensure that the accused is made available for facing the trial and an application for bail cannot be rejected solely on the ground the applicants are foreign nationals.’
By: Shambhawi Updadhyay