THE Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday granted bail to five persons jailed for carrying chicken meat allegedly in violation of the lockdown norms.
Mohd. Asjad Gazi, Irshad Raza, Nihaluddin, Mohd. Aqeel and Mohd. Shahid had been in jail since April 13 in pursuant to a First Information Report (FIR) against them under Sections 188 (disobeying a public servant’s order), 268 (public nuisance), 269 (negligent act likely to spread a life-endangering disease), 270 (malignant act likely to spread life-endangering diseases), 467 (forgery), 468 (forgery for cheating), 420 (cheating) and 471 (using a forged document) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), along with provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and Epidemic Diseases Act 1897. They were arrested for carrying 3 quintals chicken meat in the four-wheeler loader.
Petitioners submitted before the High Court that the Director of Animal Husbandry, Uttar Pradesh had issued a clarification vide letter dated April 3 that the “chicks, eggs and meat” are also categorised as an Essential Commodities. According to them, therefore, no offence was made out under the aforesaid sections.
The State Government, however, opposed the bail application and told the court that the accused persons were carrying chicken meat by showing forged pass with the association of other applicants but the counsel of the state government conceded the fact that Government of India, as well as States, had issued advisory and clarifications that chicken meat was an exempted commodity from the Lockdown.
Considering the rival submissions of learned counsel for parties, the material available on record as well as the totality of fact and circumstances, and without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, Justice Rajeev Singh ordered the release of five accused persons.
Justice Singh further directed accused persons to furnish two reliable sureties each of the like amounts to the satisfaction of the court concerned within two months from the date of the lifting of Covid-19 lock-down.
Further, HC imposed the following conditions to adhere to by the accused person while on bail:
(1) Applicants will not try to influence the witnesses or tamper with the evidence of the case or otherwise misuse the liberty of bail.
(2) 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.
(3) Applicants shall remain present, in person, before the trial court on the dates fixed for (a) opening of the case, (b) framing of charge; and (c) recording of statement under Section 313 Cr.P.C.
Read the Order here: