Whether condition while granting bail to contribute towards Corona Relief Fund valid?

Chinna Rao Swayamvarappu vs. State of Kerala (Crl MC TMP No. 5 of 2020)
DECIDED ON: 21st Day Of April, 2020
BENCH HIGH COURT OF KERALA: Justice C.S. Dias

Issue: Whether the condition while granting bail, directing the petitioner to deposit an amount of Rs 25,000/- towards Corona Relief Fund and produce receipt before the said Court, valid, just and proper?

Session Court’s Direction

The Sessions Court of Thalassery while deciding the bail application of the Petitioner in Crl M.C No.XXXIV A/2020 held that, “the petitioner has to deposit an amount of Rs 25,000/- towards Corona Relief Fund and produce receipt before the said Court.”

Appeal To High Court

Aggrieved by the said condition imposed by the Sessions Court the Petitioner appealed to the High Court. The High Court of Kerala while deciding matter held that bail is a rule and jail is an exception and the Sessions Court has decided correctly while granting bail, u/s 167(2) of Cr.PC, but the condition imposed to deposit money towards Corona Relief Fund is erroneous, unjust and improper.

The Kerala High Court while deciding the matter in favor of Petitioner relied on the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Moti Ram v. State of Madhya Pradesh (AIR 1978 SC 1594). This decision of Apex Court held that the imposition of cash security or deposit of any amount for grant of bail is unjust, irregular and improper.

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