Delhi High Court: Trial Courts Not to Insist the Bail Applicant for Filing Attested Documents During the Lockdown

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In Hansraj and Others vs State of Delhi and Others, Hansraj filed a petition in the High Court. The petition requested the granting of bail. A Single-judge bench of Justice Asha Menon heard the matter.

Brief Facts

A 23-year old in judicial custody filed the petition. He approached the High Court after the centre rejected his bail application. It rejected because it was not attested by the accused himself or any of his family members. The District Courts needed the petitioner to attest the vakalatnama himself. If the petitioner is in judicial custody, the family member of the petitioner has to sign. The petitioner here is in Judicial custody, and his family resides in Ghaziabad. While the Counsel appearing resides in Gurugram. Due to the lockdown, the Counsel could not get the documents attested.

Arguments before the Court

The Counsel for the petitioner submitted an undertaking in the Court. It guaranteed the submission of the attested documents after the lockdown. The petitioner’s father also sent an email as an authorization letter. The Counsel for respondents also supported this argument. He asked the District Courts to follow the directions of the Delhi High Court. He submitted that these guidelines would help lawyers and litigants during the pandemic.

Observation of the Court

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The Court asked the centre to show greater sensitivity during the lockdown. The High Court observed the misplaced concern of unauthorized filing of bail applications. A person who is in jail moves the bail application for his benefit. If the Court rejects the bail application, it will not bar the filing of a fresh bail application. The Court will have to dispose of the application again as per law.

Considering the exceptional circumstances during the lockdown, the Court eased the restrictions.

Directions of the Court

  1. It ordered the filing of the vakalatnama and bail application after the lockdown. The Court also removed the mandatory rule of filing the vakalatnama.
  2. The Courts also accepted email affirming the appointment of the Counsel. The email should contain the Aadhar and mobile number of that person. It removed the need for signatures for the appointment.
  3. District Courts to not rely on signatures for bail applications. When the applicant is in jail, and the family resides outside Delhi.
  4. District Courts cannot reject bail applications due to a lack of signatures.

Court’s Decision

The High Court directed the Facilitation Centre to accept the bail application. It directed the advocate to file an undertaking to submit the attested documents after lockdown. The High Court ordered the listing of the application without further delay.


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