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Direction of supreme court regarding release of prisoners on interim Bailcannot be treated as a windfall for all the prisoners even when there is no imminent threat or apprehension within the jail premises as on date as regards spread of pandemic

Bail Application — In the instant case, the petitioners, against whom there are allegations of having caused loss to State- Exchequer to the tune of Rs.0 crores appx. by evasion of payment of GST, seek grant of interim bail, mainly on account of the prevelant conditions of spread of COVID-19 virus. It has been clarified by the Supreme Court, the prisoners are not to be compulsorily released. The primary object of the directions issued by Supreme Court is to protect the health of the prisoners and restrict transmission of COVID-19 by decongestion of prisons. The move certainly cannot be treated as a windfall for all the prisoners even when there is no imminent threat or apprehension within the jail premises as on date as regards spread of pandemic. It has been informed by learned State counsel that there is no reported case of COVID-19 within jail premises and that the fresh entrants, if any, are lodged separately. Since the Nabha Jail already stands decongested and there is no reported case of COVID-19 within the premises of jail, therefore keeping in view the nature and gravity of offence and the amount involved this Court does not deem it appropriate to grant interim bail to the petitioner. The application, as such, is dismissed. — Rajinder Bassi And Others Vs. State of Punjab [2020] 23 TAXLOK.COM 004 (P&H)