The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed an anticipatory bail plea filed by a man who was accused of providing a fake COVID-19 positive certificate to help his son get out on bail [Rajender Singh v. State].
The Court observed that it had been “rightly submitted” by the State that Singh’s presence was necessary for custodial interrogation in order to uncover the alleged conspiracy of making the false COVID-19 report and for “recovery of devices used in making such a forged certificate and of its user in Court for such fraudulent purposes for release of his son."
In May 2021, the son sought interim bail on the ground that his father had tested positive for COVID-19. The trial court directed the verification of the test report and found that the same was forged, as the original report had come negative.
The court had accordingly sought an explanation from the son’s counsel and directed the Delhi Police Commissioner to take action keeping in mind the attempt made to obtain a favorable order on the basis of a fake document. It had also observed that there were prima facie cognizable offenses indicating a conspiracy to commit such offenses that required a detailed investigation.
Singh, therefore, was stated to have been booked in the FIR on June 10, 2021. It also came on record that the person, co-accused in the son’s case, who had been instrumental in filing the allegedly fake COVID-19 positive certificate, had been apprehended. In his interrogation, the co-accused disclosed that Singh was the source of the forged document.
According to the State, a witness had admittedly assisted the applicant for his COVID-19 test and disclosed that he had received a negative report of Singh on his mobile phone.
The Public Prosecutor stressed that it was clear that Singh had received a COVID-19 negative report from the witness and that despite being asked to join the investigation, he didn’t do it. Singh’s previous anticipatory bail application was stated to have been dismissed by the Additional Sessions Judge on August 26, 2021.
Thereafter, on September 7, 2021, Singh was granted interim protection from arrest after he gave an undertaking that he was willing to hand over his mobile phone to the investigating agency.
The applicant’s counsel that the statement of the co-accused person was per se insufficient, as he had reportedly deleted all his WhatsApp messages, including that of the report in question. The statement of the witness was contested on the ground that it was marred with “improvements and variations.
The lawyer also underscored that there was nothing brought on record by the investigating agency to show his client’s involvement in the use of a forged positive COVID-19 report.
The State, on the contrary, contended that it was essential to investigate the alleged conspiracy over the false certificate issued by one Spice Health Lab, and for the recovery of the devices used in such forgery.
The Court, consequently, held, that the interim bail application is thus rejected and the interim protection granted vide order dated 7.9.2021 and extended thereafter is withdrawn.
The FIR against the applicant was filed under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 198 (using as true a certificate known to be false) 199 (false statement made in declaration which is by law receivable as evidence), 200 (using as true such declaration knowing it to be false), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (fraudulently or dishonestly using as genuine any document) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Senior Advocate Sunil Dalal with Advocates CM Sangwan and Devashish Bhadauria represented the applicant. Additional Public Prosecutor Aashaa Tiwari appeared for the State.