Karnataka HC waives need for physical presence of surety to execute bail

Karnataka High Court in Bangalore.   | Photo Credit: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

The High Court of Karnataka has waived the legal requirement of physical presence of surety for the execution of conditions of bail for the time being, given the restrictions imposed on the entry of people on to the court premises because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The court said that advocates representing the accused can produce the bail bonds and an affidavit signed by the surety, along with true copies of authentic ID documents such as PAN and Aadhaar cards, aside from address proof, a recent photo, and documents with details of property held by the surety.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Vishwajith Shetty passed the order on a PIL petition, initiated suo motu by the court for finding a solution to legal and technical difficulties faced in the conduct of proceedings on account of the COVID-19 restrictions.

Also, the advocates will have identify the signature of the surety by signing below it, mentioning their registration/enrolment number issued by the Karnataka State Bar Council.

While verifying such documents on behalf of the surety, if the jurisdiction magistrate finds any serious doubt about the identity of the surety or the authenticity of the documents, then the magistrate can procure the attendance of the surety by videoconferencing by following the Video Conference Hearing Rules framed by the High Court, the Bench said.

“As repeatedly held by us, it is the duty and responsibility of every court and of all the stakeholders to ensure that the functioning of the court does not become a source of spread of COVID-19,” the Bench observed.

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Printable version | Oct 1, 2020 11:26:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/karnataka-hc-waives-need-for-physical-presence-of-surety-to-execute-bail/article32058972.ece

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