The Hon’ble High Court of Bombay vide order dated 08.05.2020 granted bail to ten Indonesian citizens who were accused and arrested for allegedly spreading COVID-19 by intentionally flouting lockdown guidelines.
The said order was passed in response to a bail application filed by the Applicants who were permanent residents of Indonesia, Jakarta. The Applicants had arrived in India on 29.02.2020 and 2.03.2020. The Petitioners then reached Mumbai from Delhi on 08.03.2020 after which they were tested for COVID-19 and subsequently quarantined.
As per Mr. Tarak Sayyed, Advocate for the Applicant, despite testing negative for COVID-19, the Petitioners were arrested by Mumbai Police under Section 188, 269, 270, 304 (2) and 307 of Indian Penal Code, Sections 3 and 4 of Epidemic Disease Act, Section 21 of Maharashtra Covid19 Rules 2020, Section 14 (b) of Foreigners Act, &Section 51 of National Disaster Management Act 2005.
The Respondent on the other hand submitted that the Applicants had intentionally defied the lockdown guidelines and put the community at large into an apprehension of contracting the disease. The Respondent further prayed to the Hon’ble Court to reject the Applicants’ bail application owing to the possibility of them fleeing from the course of justice.
After hearing both the parties, Justice B.V Wagh stated that since the Petitioners were tested negative for COVID-19, there was no possibility of spreading the Virus. The Hon’ble Court thus accepted the Petitioners’ bail application on the condition of furnishing Personal bond of Rs.25, 000/ (Twenty Five Thousand Rupees Only/-) each with one or two solvent sureties in the like amount.
The Applicants were further ordered to submit their passports and Visas with the Investigating Officer and quarantine themselves in the place of their last residence. The order was also passed on considering the present situation of the COVID-19 outbreak and the exceeding strength of inmates in the jail.