Aadhaar not mandatory for bail says Chhattisgarh HC, modifies its earlier order
The Chhattisgarh High Court has modified its earlier order in January which made Aadhaar card mandatory for getting bail and now the court has said that surety can submit any document of identification like voter ID, PAN card and passport.
Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra who had earlier passed “Aadhaar mandatory for bail” order in Ved Prakash Gupta v. State of Chhattisgarh has in modified order on Thursday said that “Court Is convinced with the submission made by the majority of the learned counsel that the issue concerning validity of the instrument of Aadhaar itself is under consideration by the Supreme Court, submission of Aadhaar Card may not be made mandatory.”
The Court had in its earlier order made Aadhaar mandatory after the counsel appearing on behalf of State had 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 had further argued that if this menace is not controlled and regulated it will attain enormous proportion and had 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.
Read the story of earlier order where Chhattisgarh High Court had made Aadhaar mandatory for bail here. The Supreme Court had, thereafter, on 25th January, directed the Chhattisgarh High Court to deal with the application for modification filed by the Chhatisgarh Bar Council within 10 days. Read more here.
The Court passed following directions in substituted order:
- While examining the surety papers the trial court shall obtain documents of identification like Aadhaar Card or Voter ID or PAN card or Passport of the surety.
- The identification of the accused may be established by the prosecution which may form part of the police case diary or the charge sheet.
- Upon submission of proof of identity and the revenue papers by the surety, the same shall be got (sic) verified by the trial Court within a period of four weeks from the date of submission however, the provisional release warrant of the accused may be issued by the Presiding Officer even before verification upon its prima facie, satisfaction of the genuineness of the documents
- Based upon the outcome of the verification process the Presiding Officer may pass appropriate necessary orders after four weeks.
- In the event the revenue/surety papers or the document of identification of the surety is found to be forged, the concerned trial Court shall forthwith lodge FIR against the surety who submitted the forged documents.
- 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.
- The concerned Revenue Officer and the Station House Officer shall cooperate with the trial Court in course of verification of revenue papers. In such Tehsils or Districts where the revenue entries have already been made in the Bhuiyan Software of the State Government’s Revenue Department the verification may be made through the said software.
- After completion of the process of verification the Presiding Officer shall certify in the order sheet of the case that the verification of the papers/documents has been done in accordance with the order passed by the High Court of Chhattisgarh on 1-2-2018 in Cr.M .P. No.62 of 2018 (Ved Prakash Gupta @ Gudda v. State of Chhattisgarh). Any dereliction in ensuring verification by the trail court may be viewed seriously.
- The direction contained in this order shall not apply where the bail order has been granted to the accused for a limited period of less than 21 days, as the accused is required to surrender before the concerned Court immediately after expiry of the limited period of his release.
Read the order below: