Himachal Pradesh High Court Grants Bail in Case of Alleged Forging of COVID E-Passes

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The petitioner allegedly forged COVID E-passes and entered a restricted area. The Police arrested him under the Disaster Management Act and Indian Penal Code. This particular offence fell under the category of non-bailable offences. He then filed for anticipatory bail, which the Court approved. This order had been passed on 12th June.

Facts of the Case

In the present case, the Petitioner allegedly forged a COVID E-pass and travelled to a restricted area. The Police arrested the Petitioner under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. The charges were filed in compliance with sections 419, 420, 464, 468, 471 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code. Offences falling within the above sections are categorised as non-bailable offences. The petitioner then filed an application for anticipatory bail. Also, the Court is yet to receive the status report of the case from the police.

Petitioner’s Arguments

The learned counsel for the Petitioner claims that the Petitioner is innocent. They contended that if bail is granted, there will not be any tampering of evidence by the Petitioner. The Counsel assured the Court that the party will be available for the investigation and would not abscond. Further, the petitioner submitted that he did not have a prior criminal record.

Respondent’s Arguments

The learned counsel submitted that the offence is serious in nature. Further, the act is non-bailable as per the Indian Penal Code. Additionally, if the petitioner receives bail, the Court should impose stringent conditions.

Court’s observation 

The Court observed that the Petitioner could not abscond as he was a permanent resident of the village. Hence, this acted as security for his presence before the Court. The Court observed that his custody will not serve any purpose until the State filed a response. The Court also noted that the petitioner did not have a criminal record. 

Court’s judgement

The Court granted bail to the Petitioner. The Court ordered the Petitioner to follow all the conditions imposed on him. The Bench set the bail bond at Rs.10,000 and enumerated ten conditions for his bail. The Court ordered the petitioner not to disturb the investigation or tamper with evidence. If the petitioner failed to follow any of the conditions, his bail would stand dismissed. The Court further ordered the Petitioner to co-operate with the Investigation.


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