Practice of producing forged documents of sureties in Courts

The Kerala High Court on 19 July 2011 in Rajan Vs. State of Kerala, 2011 (3) KLT SN 88 (C.No.88) : ILR 2011 (3) Ker. 443 : 2011 (3) KHC 239 : 2011 (2) KLD 107 held that “the practice of producing forged documents in Courts and getting release of the accused on the basis of such forged documents of the sureties should be curbed at any cost.

The Hon’ble Mr. Justice K.T. Sankaran observed that it would not be proper to verify the genuineness or otherwise of all the documents before issuing copy of the order in the Bail Application or before releasing the accused from judicial custody.

# Documents of Sureties

While disposing the bail application the Court held that in Criminal Courts thousands of Bail Applications would be dealt with and disposed of. The accused would be released on bail either on the basis of the affidavits filed by the sureties or on production of revenue receipts, electoral identity cards, title deeds or solvency certificates by the sureties.

The urgency of the situation would warrant immediate release of the accused. The Courts would normally rely on the documents produced by the sureties. If the sureties produce forged documents and get release of the accused, the Criminal Courts would not be in a position to enforce the attendance of the accused.

Even the sureties cannot be proceeded against since in some of the cases the details furnished regarding sureties may be bogus. The proceedings in Bail Applications are taken and finalized on a mutual trust and confidence. If such trust and confidence is found out of place, it would affect the chances of getting bail urgently by other deserving accused.

The practice of producing forged documents in Courts and getting release of the accused on the basis of such forged documents of the sureties should be curbed at any cost. If such cases are detected, a very strict approach is required, even in the matter of granting bail to the accused against whom allegation is levelled that they produced forged documents as sureties in another case.

the Court said.

# Prosecution Case

The petitioners stood as sureties for the accused on the file of the Court of the Judicial Magistrate of the First class, Chalakkudy and got the accused therein released on bail. For the purpose of furnishing security, the petitioners produced revenue receipts purportedly issued by two Village Offices. They also produced electoral identity cards before the Court to prove their identity.

On verification by the learned Magistrate, it was found that the revenue receipts and the electoral identity cards were forged and fabricated ones. On a complaint made by the Sheristadar of the Court a Crime was registered. The petitioners were arrested.

Their Bail Application was dismissed by the learned Magistrate as well as High Court. Even after the dismissal of bail application the petitioners moved for bail before the trial court and that application was dismissed by the learned Magistrate.

Public Prosecutor V. Tekchand submitted that after completing the investigation, charge sheet was filed. If the petitioners are released on bail, there is every likelihood of the petitioners trying to influence the prosecution witnesses and to tamper with the evidence.

There is also a chance of the petitioners making themselves scarce. There is also a likelihood that if the petitioners are released on bail, another set of forged documents would be produced to get them released on bail. For the aforesaid reasons, the prayer for bail in the Bail Application is rejected.

# Facts of the Case

This is an application for bail under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The petitioners are accused in Crime of Chalakudy Police Station, Thrissur District.  The offences alleged against the petitioners are under Sections 465, 466, 471, 472, 473 and 475 of the Indian Penal Code.

The petitioners were arrested and they were remanded to judicial custody. Their application for bail was dismissed by High Court. The learned single Judge who dismissed the Bail Application held that if the petitioners were released on bail, they would definitely influence and intimidate the prosecution witnesses. It was also held it was likely that the petitioners would make themselves scarce and flee from justice.