Supreme Court Stays Allahabad High Court Order Which Held Apprehension of Death Due to COVID A Ground for Anticipatory Bail

Team SoOLEGAL 26 May 2021 3:09pm

Supreme Court Stays Allahabad High Court Order Which Held Apprehension of Death Due to COVID A Ground for Anticipatory Bail

The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed, Allahabad High Court decision that stated that fear of death due to reasons such as the COVID pandemic is a legitimate reason for anticipatory bail. The Supreme Court ruled that the Allahabad High Court's decision could not be used as a precedent for anticipatory bail, and that courts should not rely on the High Court's findings while considering pre-arrest bail applications.

Senior Advocate V Giri was also named as an amicus curiea to support the Court on the broader question of whether COVID can be used as a basis for anticipatory bail. After hearing the arguments of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who represented the state of Uttar Pradesh, a vacation bench comprised of Justices Vineet Saran and BR Gavai stayed the order.

The applicant is a serial criminal with more than 130 criminal cases against him, the Solicitor General added. The Solicitor General pushed for a stay of the High Court order's findings. According to the SG, the High Court's findings are being frequently quoted in other cases to secure anticipatory bail.

The state of Uttar Pradesh had petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn an Allahabad High Court order granting anticipatory bail on the basis of apprehension of death due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Allahabad High Court had stated on May 10th that fear of death due to reasons such as the current pandemic is a legitimate ground for anticipatory bail. The order was issued by a Single Bench of Justice Siddharth while hearing an anticipatory bail application filed by Prateek Jain, who feared death as a result of Covid-19's detention.

Justice Siddharth took into account observed  the parameters for grant of anticipatory bail like the nature and gravity of accusation, the criminal antecedent of the applicant. Due to the current condition of the nation and the state as a result of the spread of the second wave of novel corona virus, the risk of eluding justice and whether an indictment has been made for harming and humiliating the claimant by having him arrested have lost importance.

Every citizen of India is guaranteed life and personal liberty under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. The security of a citizen's life is more important than the protection of his or her personal liberty as stated the judge. The deadly inflection may be suffering by the accused person, police or the inmates. There are no proper testing, treatment and care for person who are in the jail as observed by the bench. The court also stated that the right to life is more important than the right to liberty which is to be protected by granting anticipatory bail to an accused person. The right to personal liberty, even if protected by the Court, would be useless if the right to life is not protected and allowed to be violated or jeopardised.

Tagged: Supreme Court   Allahabad High Court   Anticipatory Bail   COVID pandemic   Solicitor General   Tushar Mehta   criminal cases   Justice Siddharth   Article 21   Indian Constitution  
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