Patna HC grants bail on condition of donating money to PM- CARES Fund

Patna, Jun 3 (PTI) The Patna High Court has granted bail to petitioners arrested on charges of violating Bihars prohibition law on the condition that they contribute to the PM-CARES Fund set up in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

At least three such petitioners were granted bail after they donated money ranging between Rs 5,000 and Rs 25,000, their lawyers said, adding that the amount of donation depended on the value of liquor allegedly recovered from the possession of the accused.

Manufacture, sale, transport, trade, consumption and possession of liquor are banned under the Bihar Excise and Prohibition Act, 2016.

One of the three petitioners who was granted bail last month after contributing to the Prime Ministers Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) Fund was Santosh Sahni.

Justice Anjani Kumar Sharan granted bail to Sahni, who was in jail since January 18, on the condition that he would deposit Rs 5,000 in the PM-CARES Fund.

Sahni 'is directed to be enlarged on bail on furnishing bail bond of Rs 20,000/- (Rupees Twenty Thousand) with two sureties of the like amount each to the satisfaction of the learned Additional District Judge 2nd-cum-Special Judge Excise, Samastipur, in connection with Excise Case No.28 of 2020,' the judge said in his order on May 13.

'The bail bond of the petitioner shall be accepted by the learned Court on showing receipt of deposit of Rs.5000.00 (Rupees Five Thousand) in the PM Cares fund,' the judge said in the order.

Sahni had prayed for bail in a case in which he was charged with possessing 18 litres of country-made liquor and 600 litre of raw material for preparing the beverage.

The items were buried in a field, his lawyer submitted.

The high court has passed similar orders in at least two other bail matters involving alleged violation of the prohibition law.

On May 15, Justice Sharan asked petitioner Ramesh to deposit Rs 25,000 in the PM-Cares Fund. The authorities had allegedly recovered over 3,526 litres of foreign liquor from a truck driven by him in May last year.

On the same day, the judge asked Munna Miya, a driver, to donate Rs 5,000 to the fund after he sought bail in a case of alleged recovery of 208.80 litres of liquor from his vehicle in February. PTI CORR AR NN SK SK