Tripura High Court has granted interim bail to a person arrested for posting Facebook post disseminating false alarm in the public related to outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
The petition has been filed by the accused seeking interim bail in a case in which he has been charged under section 54 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (Punishment for false warning) and 505 (1)(b) of the Indian Penal Code(Punishment for Statements conducing to public mischief) whereas, he was arrested on 6th April, 2020.
The Facebook post said “One person in Tripura is found to have been infected in Tripura by corona virus and is presently alive. Only one patient has been diagnosed with corona virus (COVID 19) and has been referred top GB Hospital.” He has further apprised through that post that “the lock down period in India can be extended up to September, 2020.”
The petitioner claimed that such indication has been found in the report of US Advisory Health Organization and also enclosed the reports of the US Advisory Health Organization. Whereas, Learned Public Prosecutor Mr. Dutta submitted that he requires producing the CD as the allegation against the petitioner are highly serious.
The Court on the contention of Mr. Dutta, listed the matter on 23rd April, 2020 and directed him to produce the CD and upload the relevant pages of the CD required in connection with this case for holding further hearing.
However, Justice S. Talapatra allowed the petitioner to be released on interim bail after furnishing a bail bond of Rs 20,000/- supported by one surety and shall surrender before the CJM Court on 21st April, 2020 and shall not try to meddle with the investigation.
The Court has also barred the accused from posting any material related to COVID-19 on Social Media, and the Court also said if he breaches the direction of the court, it may be brought to the notice of the Court on next date.
–India Legal Bureau