Aadhaar is mandatory for bail says Chhattisgarh High Court
Now it will be difficult in Chhattisgarh to get bail without Aadhaar card as the Chhattisgarh High Court has in Ved Prakash Gupta v. State of Chhattisgarh directed all the trial courts to necessarily obtain copy of the Aadhaar card of the accused as well as of the surety, while examining surety papers submitted along with bail applications.
A Single Judge bench of Prashant Kumar Mishra was hearing application preferred by applicant under Section 439 of the Cr.P.C. for grant of regular bail as he is arrested in connection with crime No.51/2016 registered in Police Station Durg, District Durg, for offence punishable under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 & 120-B of the Indian Penal Code.
The prosecution case in brief was that that the applicant stood surety in the Court of Special Judge, Durg by impersonating Neelkanth, S/o Sukul Das, resident of village Indavani, however, when the concerned Court sent the papers for verification, the concerned Tahsildar submitted a report that no such person in the name of Neelkanth resides at village Indavani. Thereafter, the Court Mohrir, Constable Parsh Nath, lodged a report against the applicant for offence punishable under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 & 120-B of the Indian Penal Code. In the inquiry it was found that the applicant is working as an Advocate’s Clerk and has engaged himself in the fraudulent activity by standing surety by affixing his photograph in the property papers of other persons, one of which is Neelkanth, S/o Sukul Das.
The Counsel appearing for the State during the course of the hearing informed the court that in almost every Court in the State forged sureties are produced to obtain bail on the basis of forged revenue papers or by impersonating the real surety. He further argued that if this menace is not controlled and regulated it will attain enormous proportion and urged the court to pass necessary orders directing trial Courts to ensure obtaining papers of identification at the time of approving surety documents for issuing release warrants. Pertinently some other lawyers present in the Court did not dispute this position that the practice of submission of forged revenue documents and sureties is rampant in trial Courts.
The Chhattisgarh High Court while highlighting importance of Aadhaar placed reliance on observations of Supreme Court in Binoy Viswam v. Union of India and others in which it was observed by the Apex Court that “that by making use of the technology, a method is sought to be devised, in the form of Aadhaar, whereby identity of a person is ascertained in a flawless manner without giving any leeway to any individual to resort to dubious practices of showing multiple identities or fictitious identities. That is why it is given the nomenclature ‘unique identity’.”
The Court said against this backdrop that “it is the intention of the Government to give fillip to Aadhaar movement and encourage the people of this country to enroll themselves under the Aadhaar scheme.”
Allowing the applicant’s application and considering his entitlement to bail, the court directed the applicant to be released on bail on executing a personal bond for a sum of Rs.25,000/- with one surety for the like amount to the satisfaction of the trial Court. He was further directed to appear before the trial Court on each and every date given by the said Court.
While directing the release of the applicant on bail and considering the nature of crime and the menace of submission of sureties by fictitious persons, court issued following directions to all the trial Courts in the State so that the menace can be controlled and regulated :
“♦ While examining the surety papers the trial Court shall necessarily obtain copy of the Aadhaar Card of the accused as well as of the surety.
♦ The Aadhaar Card of the accused and the surety as well as genuineness of the revenue papers shall be verified by all the trial Courts, as soon as the same are furnished, preferably within a period of one week from the date of its submission.
♦ The release warrant shall be issued only after proper verification of the identity of the accused and the surety as well as the genuineness of the revenue/surety papers.
♦ In the event the revenue/surety papers or the Aadhaar Card is found to be forged, the concerned trial Court shall forthwith lodge an FIR (First 5 Information Report) against the person who submitted the papers/Aadhaar details.
♦ The concerned District & Sessions Judge shall maintain a register/database in electronic form containing the case No., crime No., particulars of the accused, details of the Police Station, particulars of the person who has stood surety for the accused therein, the details of the property against which the surety is based, etc.
♦ If a particular surety is found to have stood surety in many cases on the basis of same property papers, the same shall be rejected, if it is involved in more than two cases.
♦ The concerned Revenue Officer and the Station House Officer shall cooperate with the trial Court in course of verification of revenue/surety papers as well as the Aadhaar details of the accused and the surety.
♦ All the trial Courts shall meticulously follow these directions and shall certify in the order sheet of the respective case that “the verification of papers has been done in accordance with the order passed by the High Court of Chhattisgarh in M.Cr.C No. 3957 of 2017 (Ved Prakash Gupta @ Gudda v. State of Chhattisgarh)”.
♦ If such certification is not made by the trial Court, disciplinary action may be initiated against the erring Presiding Officer.
Read the judgment below: