Delhi’s fake guarantors helping criminals get bail

March 15th, 2008 - 9:52 am ICT by admin  

By Kanu Sarda
New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) Shocking as it may sound, most bails given to the accused in Delhi’s trial courts are through fake guarantors and forged documents that often help hardened criminals get away, say police. Lawyers, courts and police finally seem to have woken up to what is known as the “fake surety network”, with many admitting that the system thrives due to the collusion of black sheep among themselves.

“We have caught hold of many gangs from which we have recovered a huge number of fake identity cards, stamps, seals and other documents that are used to provide surety bonds to bail out the accused,” said a senior police official.

A surety is a guarantee document furnished by a person known to the accused when the latter is released on bail by a court. Ideally, the guarantor should be a close relative of the accused.

Police have now circulated photographs of a gang of 10 people who virtually function as professional fake guarantors in exchange for money.

In December last year, police busted a surety racket and arrested seven people from Seelampur in northeast Delhi. On interrogation, they said they came from impoverished backgrounds and wanted to make a fast buck.

“Fake surety has become a source of income for some. There are those who stand as surety even though they do not know the accused. As a result, hardened criminals also get released,” an official of Delhi Police’s Crime Branch said.

The increasing number of fake guarantors has not only made court proceedings more difficult but also resulted in an increase in trial time.

D.B. Goswami, a criminal lawyer, said such gangs operate through advocates who contact them when surety is needed for a client.

“The lawyers charge 30 percent of the surety amount from the person, which also includes the share of the person who would stand as guarantee for the accused in court,” Goswami told IANS.

“Most cases of fake surety involve offenders who belong to places outside Delhi. As these people don’t have any local address to provide to the court, they adopt the illegal route of fake surety, which is very easy to follow.

“Interestingly, it’s not only men but also women who are active in providing fake surety to criminals. The main reason behind women jumping into the bandwagon is that courts believe them more easily as compared to men.”

Now even courts and different bar associations are directing police to register cases of cheating against such people.

Police have held talks with bar associations in Delhi’s four trial courts - Tis Hazari, Patiala House, Karkardooma and Rohini - to identify people who work as professional guarantors.

“As and when we came across issues like this, where the court’s respect is at stake, we punish whosoever is doing it. Be it a lawyer or any other person, we will take strict action,” Jagat Singh, a former member of the Delhi Bar Association (Tis Hazari), told IANS.

Emphasis is also being laid on verifying the antecedents of the accused once he or she is arrested.

“Directions have been issued and officers have been told to verify the antecedents of the accused and get the details of relatives,” the police official said.

R.N. Vats, secretary of the Delhi Bar Association, said it is also the responsibility of the judge who releases the accused on bail to direct police to verify whether that the surety is genuine.

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