On Wednesday, the High Court of Delhi recommended investigative agencies & the Govt. to consider the use of advances in technology like the GPS tracking system to track undertrials out on bail so as they don’t flee from justice.
Justice Asha Menon’s recommendation came while upholding the bail granted to cricket bookie Sanjeev Chawla, who was recently extradited to India, dismissing a petition filed by Delhi Police challenging the Trial Court order in the matter.
The Court said that “In an aside, this case brings to the fore the need for investigative agencies & the government to consider the use of advances in technology to track undertrials in cases of this nature where the state may fear that an accused may flee from trial”.
The Court added that “Digital and electronic equipment, as presently used in America, ought to be introduced in India, so that a tracking system similar to the GPS Tracking System, can be used to monitor the movement of the accused released on bail, allowing the authorities to gather information all the time while permitting the accused to undertake the usual and ordinary activities of normal life”.
The Delhi HC appreciated Trial Court for using alternatives in the absence of such systems in India & said that Sessions Judge has adopted the next best course available, by ordering the accused to keep a mobile phone operational at all times.
The Court ordered Chawla & both his sureties to furnish the details of their mobile phones to the SHO/IO & keep their mobile phones operational at all times. Further, the accused Chawla shall make a call to the IO/SHO once a day & shall not leave Delhi except with the permission of the court. The Court also said that the accused shall not leave the country till the trial is concluded.
Justice Asha Menon had, earlier this month, reserved its order on the plea seeking cancellation of regular bail granted to Chawla by a Sessions Court on April 30.
Senior Lawyer Vikas Pahwa appeared for Chawla in the hearing held through video conferencing while Delhi Police was represented by public prosecutor Kewal Ahuja.
Chawla, who is one of the main accused in the match-fixing scandal that also involved late South Africa captain Hansie Cronje, was granted bail by the sessions court on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 2 lakh.
He had allegedly conspired with the latter to fix matches during South Africa’s tour to India in the year 2000.
Police, while challenging the bail order, urged the judicature to set aside the trial court order & said that the accused is a British national & there are chances that he may fly back.
The Police also said that it took them twenty years to bring Chawla to Justice in India & added that the investigation team worked hard on this case to get the accused extradited from the United Kingdom.