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“Instead of Arranging of Their Going Back Home, They are Sent to Jail” – Gujarat HC

The applicants are more the victims, certainly not criminals. They need not be continued in custody any further.

On 23rd June, Gujarat High Court granted bail to 33 migrant workers, who were kept in jail since 18th May, 2020. These workers were arrested after a violent clash with the police. Out of 33, 32 workers hail from Jharkhand and one from west Bengal.

The application of the workers was heard by Justice Paresh Upadhyay. Advocate Nirav R. Mishra who was representing the applicants, submitted that during the lockdown period, the applicants were without any work, without any money and even without any food and under these circumstances they wanted to go back to their homes which led to the alleged untoward incident of may 18.

While granting bail to the workers, the Court stated in its order, “It is noted that, in the lock down, when the applicants were without any work, without any money and even without any food and under such circumstances, instead of arranging of their going back home they are sent to jail. The applicants are more the victims, certainly not criminals. They need not be continued in custody any further. They need to be set free immediately, on furnishing their personal bond, without any further condition.”

Before moving to High Court, the workers had moved to a lower Court where their bail application was rejected by the Court. The State government had made an argument that since these workers were migrant, they wouldn’t come back for trial, if granted bail.

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