The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday has granted bail to five-persons accused of carrying 3 quintal chicken meat in violation of the lockdown orders.
In violation of the terms and conditions of Lock Down and executive orders issued under Section 144 Cr.P.C, the charges were framed against the accused persons was under Sections 188, 268, 269, 270, 467, 468, 420, 471 I.P.C. and Section 3 of Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 and Section 51 (56 as written in the F.I.R.) of Disaster Management Act, 2005.
The Court directed to furnish two reliable sureties each of the like amount to the satisfaction of the court concerned within two months from the date of lifting of Covid-19 lock-down, subject to following conditions: –
- Applicants will not try to influence the witnesses or tamper with the evidence of the case or otherwise misuse the liberty of bail.
- Applicants will fully cooperate in expeditious disposal of the case and shall not seek any adjournment on the dates fixed for evidence when witnesses are present in the Court.
- Applicants shall remain present, in person, before the trial court on the dates fixed for, opening of the case, framing of charge; and recording of statement under Section 313 Cr.P.C.
A Single Judge bench, Justice Rajeev Singh heard the bail application, through video conferencing, said that “material available on record as well as totality of fact and circumstances, and without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, I am of the view that the applicants are entitled to be released on bail”.
Learned counsel for the applicants said that the applicants are an innocent person and have been falsely implicated in the case and are in jail since 13.04.2020. It was further submitted on behalf of the applicants that it is alleged in the F.I.R. that on 13.04.2020, when the entire city was closed due to Covid-19 Lock Down, the applicant No.4 was carrying 3 quintals chicken meat in the four-wheeler loader carrying Registration No. UP 32 JN 9108 and other persons were in his association.
“The carrying chicken meat was in violation of the terms and conditions of Lock Down and the same was also in violation of executive orders issued under Section 144 Cr.P.C., therefore, the applicants were challaned,” said by the Applicant’s Counsel.
Learned counsel for the applicants further submitted that the Joint Secretary, Government of India, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, Dairying has also issued a clarification in pursuance of its earlier advisory dated 10.02.2020 that many states have not considered live chicks, eggs and meat in the list of commodities to be exempted from the Lock Down.
The Applicant’s counsel added further that the Director of Animal Husbandry, U.P. has also issued a clarification vide letter dated 03.04.2020 that the “chicks, eggs and meat” are also categorised as an Essential Commodities. Therefore, no offence is made out under the aforesaid sections. In these circumstances, the applicants are entitled for bail. In case of being enlarged on bail, they will not misuse the liberty of bail.
Learned A.G.A. appearing on behalf of State of U.P. has opposed the prayer for grant of bail to the applicants and submitted that the applicant No.4 was carrying chicken meat by showing forged pass with the association of other applicants but he conceded the fact that Government of India as well as States has issued advisory and clarifications that chicken meat is an exempted commodity from the Lock Down.
Read the order here;BAILL_2833_2020
-India Legal Bureau