High Court Orders Biometric Checks in Courts to Tackle Bail Fraud in Punjab, Haryana, and Chandigarh

The High Court has ordered the implementation of biometric verification using Aadhaar card authentication for witnesses in all courts within its jurisdiction, including Haryana, Punjab, and Chandigarh. This directive aims to put an end to the prevalent misuse of bail processes through fake witnesses, a problem that has been persistent in these states.

Numerous cases involving fraudulent witnesses have reached the Punjab and Haryana High Court, highlighting the abuse of bail provisions by professional guarantors who capitalize on the long duration of criminal trials. In response, the High Court demanded a robust system to authenticate the identities of individuals involved in bail proceedings.

The administrations of Haryana, Punjab, and Chandigarh are instructed to coordinate with the National Informatics Centre to set up the necessary infrastructure for this system. They are required to submit a proposal to the Ministry of Electronics and IT within 30 days, which will then have another 30 days to make a decision. Following this, the court demands that all necessary infrastructure be installed in the courts within the next 30 days, with a total timeline of four months for full implementation.

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Once effective, this system will lessen the courts’ reliance on bail in cases where the potential sentence is under seven years if not deemed necessary. Additionally, this will facilitate continuous review and updating of guarantors’ data. District judges or Chief Judicial Magistrates will review the register of guarantors every three months to ensure compliance and effectiveness.

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