After noting that the problem of impersonation of sureties was rampant in some states, the Apex Court issued notice to the Centre and to the Unique Identification Authority of India to figure out a mechanism for surety verification by judicial officers.
This observation was made by a Bench comprising Hon’ble Justice Hemant Gupta and Hon’ble Justice V Ramasubramanian in a bail plea filed by Advocate Rajesh Kumar Rathore regarding a case where a person appeared as fake surety to get a vehicle released from custody.
The petitioners sought bail in a case registered u/s 120B, 193, 419, 420, 468 of IPC. After the Chhattisgarh High Court rejected the bail plea, the petitioner moved to the Supreme Court, but the Court was unwilling to interfere with the impugned order.
Hon’ble Court noted that even though the charge sheet was filed, charges have not been filed; the Hon’ble Court gave liberty to the petitioners to file the bail plea after framing charges and directed the Court below to decide the application as per law.
The Bench went on to take cognisance of the problem of impersonation of sureties and stated that this problem was rampant in some states. It was further observed that there was no mechanism to verify the genuineness of the sureties.
In this context, the Bench issued notice to UIDAI and Centre and remarked that they might issue notice to States and UTs after getting the response from the Centre and State government.
In the instant case, a person was produced in the Court by a lawyer and his junior counsel to release a vehicle. The Court released the vehicle, but when the Bench asked the surety for his identification, the matter got exposed.
Before the Court, the impersonator stated that he appeared on the instructions of the lawyer. After investigation, it was revealed that the accused had been involved in similar matters before as well.
The Court rejected the bail application of the lawyer and the impersonator but granted bail to junior counsel after noting that there was no evidence on record to suggest that she was aware of the conspiracy.