The Bombay High Court granted bail to ten Indonesians arrested for violating lockdown guidelines. Mumbai police arrested them for causing a threat to the health of the community by flouting lockdown rules. They returned to Mumbai from Delhi on March 8, 2020. Thereafter the police quarantined them and tested them for COVID-19. Although, they all tested negative for COVID-19 yet the police detained them. Police charged them under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, Epidemic Disease Act, Maharashtra COVID-19 Rules, Foreigners Act, and National Disaster Management Act.
The Police argued that the Indonesians defied the statutory order. In effect, causing a threat to the health and life of the community. Moreover, they allegedly violated the terms of the visa. The Police contended that, if released, there exists a likelihood of them fleeing from the course of justice.
However, the Court did not find anything substantial in the reports to establish mens rea. The report filed by the police failed to support the allegations. Moreover, the Court took note of the fact that the applicants tested negative for COVID-19; hence, the court did not find any propriety in the contention that they are responsible for spreading the infection. Accordingly, the High Court opined that the alleged penal provisions stand aloof from the present case. Therefore, the court granted bail to all ten applicants.