For Bail, Donate to PM-CARES Fund, Download Aarogya Setu App, says Jharkhand HC

All five accused, including former MP Som Marandi, have been directed to deposit an amount of Rs 35,000 each into the PM-CARES fund and furnish proof that they have downloaded the app.

Mumbai: In an unusual bail condition, the Jharkhand high court granted bail to a former Bhartiya Janata Party member of parliament and five others and asked them to deposit an amount of Rs 35,000 each into the PM-CARES fund.

The order, uploaded on LiveLaw, states that the accused would have to download the Aarogya Setu app after getting released, along with contributing the bail deposit to the PM-CARES fund.

In her order, judge Anubha Rawat Choudhary wrote: “The petitioners shall show proof of payment of Rs 35,000 each in the ‘Prime Minister’s Citizens Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund’ before the learned court below prior to their release.”

All five accused, including former MP Som Marandi, were recently convicted by the railway judicial magistrate to one-year imprisonment in the case registered in 2012 for a “rail roko” agitation that Marandi and others had participated in Jharkhand’s Pakur district. The magistrate court had imprisoned them after being found guilty under section 174 (a) of Railways Act.

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Marandi and the other petitioners – Vivekanand Tiwari, Amit Agarwal, Hisabi Rai, Sanchay Bardhan and Anugrah Prasad Sah – had moved the sessions court against the order. After the court rejected their bail application, they moved the high court.

While granting bail, the judge said, “The petitioners shall download the Aarogya Setu app immediately after being released from custody and shall abide by the directions of the Central government as well as state government issued in connection with the containment of COVID-19 pandemic.”

The petitioners have also been directed to submit proof of the donation and the application’s download in their respective phones to the court.

The court has also asked the convicted petitioners to submit their Aadhaar cards and contact details, which they are not allowed to change without prior permission from the court.

The recently floated PM-CARES fund has been set up with a focus on the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, the recently launched Aarogya Setu app is designed to help find out coronavirus positive people present in the nearby areas. It also makes data and information regarding COVID-19 accessible to anyone who downloads the app.