Bombay High Court
Bombay High Court
Litigation News

"Pandemic has brought on an atmosphere of weariness and exasperation", Bombay HC grants bail to architect jailed for stroll without facemask

"The applicant being apprehensive that he would be arrested and probably irked by the fact that the police officer was chasing him only for not wearing the mask was the cause of the unfortunate incident", the Court noted

Meera Emmanuel

The Bombay High Court recently took a lenient view in granting bail to an architect jailed for having violated the COVID-19 lockdown last month while making pertinent observations on the atmosphere of weariness brought on by the pandemic (Karan Nair v. State of Maharashtra).

While allowing the bail plea preferred by the 27-year old applicant, Justice Bharati Dangre observed,

"The situation of the spread of pandemic has brought on an atmosphere of weariness and exasperation and a young person like the applicant has fallen trap into the scenario."
Bombay High Court

The bail applicant was accused of having strolled out on May 8, when the third leg of the lockdown was still in place. On being pulled up for not wearing a face mask by a police officer, the applicant is stated to have made a run for it, before being apprehended eventually and taken into custody.

While considering his bail plea, the judge took note that the applicant did not have any criminal antecedents.

While the Court acknowledged that the police officer who apprehended the applicant was under tremendous pressure to maintain law and order in the city, it proceeded to remark,

"... the applicant being apprehensive that he would be arrested by the police officer and probably irked by the fact that the police officer was chasing him only for not wearing the mask, was the cause of the unfortunate incident. "

In the backdrop, the Court granted him bail, opining that, "In absence of any criminal antecedents and the fact that he is a young person aged 27 years and belonging to a reputed family and fleeing the Court of justice being obscure, he is entitled to be released on bail."

Further, it was also pointed out, "the jail facilities are otherwise over burdened and merely for a person who is a one time confronter of law cannot be incarcerated and particularly in the peculiar situation prevailing inside the jail."

Bail was granted subject to furnishing a PR bond of Rs 50,000 with one or two sureties of like value. The Court clarified that the applicant may be temporarily released on furnishing the cash bail for now, and that he would have to furnish the sureties after four week.

"The applicant shall report to the concerned police station as and when called for", the Court added.

Advocate Niranjan Mundargi, briefed by Keral Mehta appeared for the applicant. Additional Public Prosecutor AR Kapadnis appeared for the State.

Read the order:

Karan Nair v. State of Maharashtra.pdf
Preview
Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news
www.barandbench.com