Supreme Court stays Allahabad High Court order which ruled fear of death due to COVID is ground for anticipatory bail

The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed an order of the Allahabad High Court which had held that apprehension of death due to COVID-19 can be a ground for grant of anticipatory bail to an accused (State of UP v. Prateek Jain).
The Court was hearing an appeal by the Uttar Pradesh government against a recent Allahabad High Court order which held that the State lacks preparation and resources to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, and hence a person arrested is at risk of contracting the virus.
The Supreme Court while staying the observations made by the High Court on law did not stay the bail granted to the accused.
The High Court ruling had come in an anticipatory bail application before the High Court was filed by one Prateek Jain, who was charged under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 506 and 406 of the Indian Penal Code.
“Apprehension of an accused being infected with novel corona virus before and after his arrest and the possibility of his spreading the same while coming into contact with the police, Court and jail personnel or vice-versa can be considered to be a valid ground for grant of anticipatory bail to an accused,” the High Court had ruled.
Extraordinary times require extraordinary remedies, and law should also be interpreted in a manner which is in tune with the desperate times, the High Court had added.

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