Three years back when 47-year-old Gulab Singh gave a photocopy of his Aadhaar card and the registration certificate (RC) of his vehicle to an agent for payment of road tax, little did he know that soon he would receive back-to-back summons from the courts in Gurgaon.
His documents, including forged versions of his Aadhaar card, were used as surety in 16 criminal cases since 2016 to bail out the accused persons. Haryana Police has informed Punjab and Haryana High Court that a Special Investigation Team has been constituted to probe the matter and 16 FIRs have been registered till date.
Gulab Singh, a tempo traveler driver from Sancholi village of Sohna in Gurgaon, in May approached the High Court through his counsel Atul Yadav seeking directions to the police and lower courts at Sohna, Pataudi and Gurgaon to not summon him in the criminal cases as an enquiry has already been conducted by judicial officer Kavita Yadav in which it was found that that his documents were forged and given as surety or guarantee. Stating that he is a “poor person”, Gulab Singh’s plea said that he is unable to afford to reach the different courts in pursuance to the summons to provide the same answer.
In May, the High Court directed Commissioner of Gurgaon Police to apprise it regarding the action he proposes to take against the guilty and to prevent such frauds. Commissioner Mohd Akil has informed the High Court in a reply that a special investigation team (SIT) under ACP Pataudi has been constituted and it has found that Gulab’s name was misused by the accused persons by submitting false surety bonds and bail bonds in the courts by misusing his Aadhaar and RC and by preparing a false Jamabandi in his name.
“A total of 16 FIRs have been registered against the accused persons in this regard,” reads the affidavit filed by Akil, adding one accused Deepak Nair, a Delhi resident, has been arrested in 11 cases and another accused, Ravi Kumar, was arrested in April 2017 in an FIR but was released later on bail. Yet another accused, Om Prakash, who is alleged to have prepared the documents has not been arrested, the police commissioner said further.
The police commissioner, in the affidavit, suggested to the court that an online verification of Aadhaar cards be ensured before accepting the surety bond and also prior police verification be asked for in suspicious cases. The High Court on July 3 disposed of Gulab Singh’s plea after an assurance from the State counsel that the SIT “would go to the root of the matter and take suitable action required under law”.
It was in August 2016 that Gulab Singh received summons for the first time from a Gurgaon court. When he apprised the court regarding the fraud, an inquiry was conducted on orders of the District and Sessions Judge, which revealed that the RC was a genuine document but the Aadhaar card was forged. An FIR was ordered to be registered and soon other cases, where his RC and purported Aadhaar card had been used to bail out the accused, came to forth. The accused persons would use Gulab Singh’s name and address but change the photo and Aadhaar number everytime.