Gujarat High Court: A.S. Supehia, J., rejected the bail application filed by “Asharam Bapu” in light of COVID19, since there is a strong possibility that on his release, several of his followers will congregate to meet him.

Present temporary bail application was filed to seek the same for a period of four months.

Following are the grounds on which the bail was sought:

  • Due to the COVID19 Pandemic applicant has all probability of getting infected in the jail at Rajasthan; applicant-accused, is in judicial custody since last several years and he is suffering from various ailments.
  • In the Jodhpur Jail, some of the prisoners are affected with Corona Virus and hence, there is every likelihood that the applicant may also get affected
  • As per the guidelines issued by the Central Government and the State Government aged persons are likely to be affected with Corona Virus and hence, the applicant is required to be released on temporary bail

Bench on perusal of the above, stated that no new ground has been raised by the applicant to seek bail though he made a specific averment that he has number of followers, to which the Court stated that,

it would not be apposite to release the applicant on bail in light of the prevailing situation of Covid 2019, since there is a strong possibility that on release of the applicant, his thousands of followers will congregate to meet him, which will aggravate the distressing situation.

Thus, bail application is rejected in view of the terms.[Asharam v. State of Gujarat, R/Criminal Misc. Application no. 7349 of 2020, decided on 03-06-2020]

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