Bengaluru court grants anticipatory bail to man held for illegal selling of Aadhaar cards, kits

A Sessions Court in Bengaluru has granted anticipatory bail to a man, who was arrested for his alleged involvement in illegally selling Aadhaar cards and Aadhaar kits.

Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge Gururaj Somakkalavar passed this order, while hearing an anticipatory bail application filed by Naresh Kumar R.P. under Section 438. The petitioner was arrayed as accused no 2 in the file of respondent for the offences punishable under Sections 120B, 420, 465, 468, 469, 471 read with Section 34 of IPC.

Murthy D. Naik, Advocate for the petitioner, contended that he has been falsely implicated in this case, as every transaction carried out by the petitioner and 'Utility' is in strict adherence to the guidelines and the norms laid down by UIDAI and by no stretch of imagination can it be said that an offence has been committed by the petitioner. The offence alleged is not punishable with imprisonment for life or death, added the lawyer.

He said the petitioner has no bad antecedents, the documents are already seized by the respondent police and the investigation is almost complete. The Advocate further said he is ready to abide by all the terms and conditions that may be imposed by the court and ready to appear before the IO, as and when required.

The Public Prosecutor filed an objection by reiterating the facts alleged in the complaint and opposed the bail petition. It is contended that if the bail is granted, the petitioner may abscond and flee away from justice.

"On perusal of the papers available on record, it is clear that the Deputy Director, Government of India, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has lodged the complaint against Edurays India Pvt Ltd, alleging that the company is misleading the public that they are authorised to sublet the enrolment process to individuals for a cost and collect money from the public, thereby causing immense harm to the public image on UIDAI and to the public at large and such deliberate misdeeds of the accused impedes the progress of Government of India schemes meant for the benefit of individuals," the Court observed.

It is further alleged that from the documents supplied it could be ascertained that the contract entered is only for man power and resource supply, however Edurays, in connivance with Utility Forms Pvt Ltd, were involved in selling the kits and in the process subletting, which is not allowed as per the UIDAI norms.

A complaint was lodged against three officials of Edurays India Ltd and Utility Forms Pvt Ltd. The petitioner contended that he has not committed any offence and their company is adhering to the guidelines of the agreement.

On the other hand, the PP contended that if the bail is granted, the accused may flee away from justice. It was further contended that the IO has seized the Aadhaar kit and subjected the same to PF. The IO has to record the statement of the witnesses and recover other incriminating material.

The Court observed that on stringent conditions, the petitioner can be granted bail. It said holding mini trial while considering the bail petition is deprecated by the Apex Court and various other High Courts in catena of judicial pronouncements, as in such exercise, in the opinion of the Apex Court, would affect the case of either party in one way or the other. Though the allegations of cheating have been made against the accused/petitioner, the said allegations have to be proved through a full-fledged trial, added the Bench.

The Court granted bail to the petitioner on personal bond of Rs one lakh and two sureties of the like amount on the following conditions:-

1. The petitioner shall appear before the IO within 10 days from the date of this order.

2. The petitioner shall not tamper with the Prosecution witnesses either directly or indirectly in any manner.

3. He shall not abscond from his ordinary residence and furnish the address proof to the concerned police.

4. He shall not indulge in any kind of offence.

5. He shall not leave the jurisdiction of the court without prior permission. If any of the above conditions is violated, the IO is at liberty to move for cancellation of bail, noted the Bench.