When any surety is provided for the release of an accused on bail, authorities must abide by a number of directives issued by the Karnataka High Court. A single judge bench led by Justice Suraj Govindaraj heard a plea filed by the 65-year-old Narayana B, who died during the pendency of the case. The case involved a situation of fake surety. The bench made the observation that multiple reports that were submitted to the court indicate this is not an isolated event. It further noted that situations of this nature have occurred on numerous occasions, and in some cases, investigations and legal action have been taken.
The court ordered that the following precautions be done whenever any surety is followed, after observing that unless sufficient measures are adopted, innocent third parties would continue to be at danger:
- Only authentic solvency certificates will be accepted, and each one must have the issuing authority’s signature, along with their name, designation, and the date the certificate was issued.
- On the solvency certificate, the issuing authority must get the surety’s photo, signature, or clear thumb impression and attest to it.
- A copy of the surety’s Aadhar card that has been self-attested must also be included with the certificate.
- The Employees who are acting as sureties must present an identity and salary certificate from their employer. It must have the employee’s signature, fully certified by the employer.
- To confirm that the solvency or salary certificate refers to the person present in court, along with a photograph, the surety’s signature or thumb impression must be obtained at the time the surety is accepted.
- Each surety must provide the court with their entire name, father’s name, age, profession, and complete postal address.
- The sureties must present Ration Cards or Bank Pass Books. In order to prove their identification in relation to the information on the solvency certificate, they must present an Aadhar Card or another type of identity card.
- If a surety is given in the form of property, the concerned ministerial officer must cross-check the property’s details on the revenue department website.
- The Revenue Department’s Principal Secretary is in charge of setting up the necessary training for everyone involved in this verification so that they can receive it. In order to take the necessary action, the Principal Secretary of the Revenue Department is to communicate with the High Court of Karnataka’s Registrar (General).
- The UIDAI will offer and outfit all courts with the tools and software required to use an Aadhar card to verify the surety’s identity.
- The court must determine if the accused has a fixed address and can be easily located if there is a need for monetary security. Copies of the accused’s Aadhar card, Ration card, Election ID, etc., must be obtained.
- The names and full particulars of the sureties must be kept on file in the case information software that the courts use by noting the crime number, name of the police station, name of the accused, and the name and full particulars of the sureties. A module to keep a register of sureties will be made available to all courts by the Registrar (Computers) and Central Projects Coordinator (CPC), and it will be used by all District Courts in the State of Karnataka.
- Every time someone stands up as surety, their information is cross-checked against the database to see if they have ever done so before. People who frequently volunteer to stand in as sureties should be under the court’s scrutiny.
- The Register of Sureties should be checked monthly to guarantee adequate upkeep by the Presiding Officers of the separate Courts.
- At the time of the annual inspection, the Principal, District Judge, and Chief Judicial Magistrates shall inspect the Register of Sureties and write their observations by delivering necessary instructions in case of any deviation.
- With the Hon. Acting Chief Justice’s prior approval, the Registrar (General) is mandated to provide all courts handling criminal cases with the relevant circulars.