Chhattisgarh High Court: In the order passed by Prashant Kumar Mishra, J., addressed a criminal petition filed on the basis of Paper Under Disposal (PUD) referred by the District & Sessions Judge Bilaspur, seeking guidelines on certain difficulties faced by the trial Judges on the presentation of forged sureties to obtain bail and release order on the basis of forged revenue papers or by impersonating the real surety. The Court modified its order that made Aadhaar card of the accused as well as surety mandatory before obtaining bail. Now the surety can submit any document of identification like voter ID, PAN, passport.

The brief facts being that the applicant stood surety in the Court of Special Judge by impersonating some other person to obtain a bail or release order, which happened to be true when investigated and verified by the Tahsildar concerned and subsequently the Court of Special Judge had lodged a report against the applicant for offences under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the Penal Code, 1860.

The learned counsel gave their inputs on the above subject-matter that this has become a frequent practice, which needs to be nipped in the bud and to be controlled and regulated before it reaches enormous proportion and hence prayed to the Court to direct the trial courts to ensure obtaining papers of identification at the time of approving the surety documents for issuance of release warrants.

The Court referring to the Supreme Court judgment in Moti Ram v. State of Madhya Pradesh, (1978) 4 SCC 47 added that the submission of Aadhar Card may not be made mandatory. Objection has also been raised to the condition where this Court has put a bar that, one surety cannot stand in more than two cases by introducing Section 441-A as introduced by Act No. 25 of 2005, w.e.f 23.06.2006 which the presiding officer shall strictly follow.

Further, the learned counsel who have suggested modification made a common pitch for immediate release of the accused after the submission of surety papers making the process of verification subsequent to the release within a particular time frame.

The Court held that the directions in substitution of the previous directions issued in paragraph 10 of the order dated 05.01.2018 passed in M.CrC No. 3957 of 2017 shall be followed and that after doing so 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 this Court. [Ved Prakash Gupta v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2018 SCC OnLine Chh 75, decided on 01-02-2018]

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