The High Court of Judicature at Patna
The High Court of Judicature at Patna
Litigation News

Patna High Court grants bail subject to condition to pay Rs.15,000 to PM CARES Fund [Read Order]

"The bail bond of the petitioner shall be accepted by the learned Court below on showing receipt of deposit of Rs.15,000/- (Rupees Fifteen Thousand) in the PM Cares fund", states the order.

Aishwarya Iyer

The Patna High Court recently granted bail on the condition that the bail applicant pay Rs.15,000 towards the PM CARES Fund set up for COVID-19 relief. (Raushan Kumar, v State of Bihar)

Justice Anjani Kumar Sharan directed that bail applicant be enlarged on furnishing a bail bond of Rs. 25,000 with two sureties of the like amount. After recording that the bail applicant had agreed to donate to the PM CARES COVID-19 relief fund, the judge also added,

"The bail bond of the petitioner shall be accepted by the learned Court below on showing receipt of deposit of Rs.15,000/- (Rupees Fifteen Thousand) in the PM Cares fund."
Patna High Court

The petitioner had sought bail for a case registered citing offences under Sections 30(a) & 38 (I) of the Bihar Prohibition Excise Act, 2016.

The counsel for the petitioner, Advocate Rajive Ranjan Singh, submitted that there was no conscious possession of liquor by the petitioner and that the house and shop from where the liquor was seized did not belong to the petitioner.

Apart from asserting that the petitioner was innocent, it was also submitted that the petitioner had no criminal antecedents and that he had been in jail since January this year.

Recording these submissions, and the willingness of the petitioner to donate Rs 15,000 to the PM CARES fund, the Court proceeded to allow the bail plea.

Read the Patna HC order here:

Raushan Kumar, v State of Bihar.pdf
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After Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the creation of the special COVID-19 relief fund earlier this year, the Madhya Pradesh High Court and the Jharkhand High Court had also earlier directed the donation of money to the PM CARES fund as a condition for the grant of bail.

Amid concerns raised over the transparency of the PM CARES fund, a Right to Information (RTI) response received by a lawyer recently found that the Fund does not come under the scope of "public authority" under the RTI Act.

On a related note, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday also issued notice in a plea urging for directions to disclose the exact amount of collected by the Fund, apart from prayers for a CAG audit and expediting the appointment of three members to the Fund's Trust Board. The plea is expected to be taken up again in two weeks time, by which time Centre was directed to file an affidavit in reply.

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