HC seeks Bar’s opinion on photo identity card rule for litigants

The move is aimed at preventing impersonation while filing cases

The Madras High Court is thinking of the possibility of insisting upon litigants to submit photo identity cards along with their affidavits to prevent impersonation.

The court’s Rules Committee, comprising a group of judges, has sought the opinion of all Bar associations across Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on the issue before taking a call on making necessary amendments to the existing rules.

It all started when Justice G. Jayachandran of the court came across a case of impersonation in 2019. Allowing a writ petition filed in the name of K.M. Ahamadullah Badsha of Saidapet in Chennai, the judge, on September 17, 2019, directed the Kodambakkam Sub Registrar to register a property document. Then, the judge held that the reasons cited for not registering the property were not tenable.

Subsequently, G. Balasubramanian filed a review application pointing out that Badsha died in 2014 itself and that a person by name Henry had impersonated to file a writ petition in the name of the deceased in 2019. It was brought to the notice of the court that it was a ploy by a group of people to grab a valuable immovable property in the city by creating forged documents to claim ownership.

When the judge inquired with the writ petitioner’s counsel, the latter stated that he filed the case on the basis of an Aadhaar card produced in the name of Badsha. After recording his submission, the judge, on November 22, 2019, wrote: “It is an unfortunate case where the court as well as the counsel have been misled and cheated by an impersonator by Henry claiming himself as K.M. Ahamadullah Badsha.”

He recalled the order passed by him on the writ petition in September 2019 and took note that the police had booked a criminal case against the impersonator. In order to avoid such fraudulent acts in future, he made a suggestion to the Rules Committee to make it mandatory for every litigant to affix his/her photograph, apart from submitting a copy of the Aadhaar card, in the affidavits filed in the court.

Accordingly, the matter was placed before the Rules Committee which thought it fit to solicit the views of the Bar on the issue before making it mandatory for the litigants to submit copies of photo identity cards issued by the government.

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