Bombay HC grants anticipatory bail, notes the financial challenges of common man due to the pandemic

The court was hearing a pre arrest bail of the owner of a restaurant seeking protection from arrest for abetting the suicide of a 48-year-old running the restaurant.

The Bombay High Court recently granted anticipatory bail to the owner of a restaurant for prima facie abetting the suicide of the man who was running it and noted, “this is an instance of how a common man has suffered on account of the economic and social disruption caused by the pandemic and particularly, those in the hospitality business.”

Justice Bharati Dangre said, “The year 2020 and to some extent the year 2021 has been a challenging year that no one could have predicted would turn out in the manner in which it did. The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic sent economic shock-waves globally and its impact extended beyond an international health crisis. The economic effects of the pandemic in India led to the reduction in economic activities, subsequently forcing businesses to scale or shut down their operations. It impacted many individuals, families, enterprises being affected due to sharp rise in unemployment. Millions of enterprises face an existential threat.”

The court was hearing a pre arrest bail of the owner of a restaurant seeking protection from arrest for abetting the suicide of a 48-year-old running the restaurant.

The wife of the 48-year-old man alleged that after the lockdown was declared, the business reached its nadir, resultantly, her husband was not able to fulfil the terms of agreement with the owners. He was repeatedly asked to contribute his share but he was unable to do so and subsequently chose to die by suicide.

The five-page order read, “Prima facie the situation can be very well guessed from the narration of the complaint and as it can be seen that this was one instance how a common man has suffered on account of the economic and social disruption caused by the pandemic and particularly, those in the hospitality business, when millions of restaurants/small hotels suffered financial distress and left their owners, staff, employees, lost their productive assets during lockdown.”

While granting anticipatory bail, the court recorded, “The allegations require investigation, but in my considered opinion, since the situation is an unfortunate and unprecedented one, even the applicant [seeking bail] cannot be completely held responsible for the economic crisis and financial constraints being faced by them and they seeking their share from the deceased.”

(Those in distress or having suicidal tendencies can dial 022-24131212 [BMC Mental Health Helpline])

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