Apprehension of death due to COVID-19 not a ground for anticipatory bail: Supreme Court
New Delhi, May 25: The Supreme Court has said that anticipatory bail cannot be granted on the grounds of fear of death due to COVID-19. The observations were made while staying an order of the Allahabad High Court on the subject.
The court held that anticipatory bail must be on merits of each individual case while adding that the High Court's order could not be used as a precedent by other courts.
"As far as observations are concerned it remains stayed and courts shall not consider the said directions (of the High Court) while granting anticipatory bail and must consider merits of each case while deciding the same," the Court ordered.
UP had approached the Supreme Court last week against an Allahabad High Court order that said anticipatory bail could be granted in view of the surge in Covid cases and overcrowding in jails.
The high court had passed the order and directed that in case of his arrest, the petitioner shall be enlarged on anticipatory bail for the limited period till 3 January, 2022.
The high court had imposed conditions including that the petitioner shall not obstruct or hamper police investigation and shall not leave the country without prior permission from the trial court concerned.
The high court had said that the Supreme Court recently passed several directions to decongest prisons across India amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The high court had observed that "extraordinary times require extraordinary remedies and desperate times require remedial remedies".
"Therefore, the apprehension of an accused being infected with novel coronavirus 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," it had said.