Provide FIR copies to accused or their kin: HC

CUTTACK: In a significant ruling that would give the much-needed relief to accused persons in protecting their Right to Life and Personal Liberty in the criminal justice system, the Odisha High Court on Friday directed that copies of the First Information Report (FIR) be immediately provided to the accused persons or their kin on payment of a nominal fee.

While the criminal justice system in the country has the provision to supply copy of the FIR immediately to the complainant alone, the accused persons are debarred from this facility.

Without the FIR, the accused persons are not be able to know the exact nature of allegations levelled against them and, therefore, unable to approach the appropriate forum for getting a relief.

Disposing of a PIL filed by lawyer Arun Kumar Budhia, a Division Bench headed by Chief Justice V. Gopala Gowda asked the police to upload the FIR on the police website within 24 hours of registration of a case. The police station should also make arrangements to give a copy of the FIR to the accused persons or their kin within 24 hours of application on payment of a nominal fee, the petitioner advocate said.

Similarly, the magistrate holding trial in the case should also provide the copy of the FIR to interested persons within two working days of the application. Delivering the judgment, the Chief Justice also directed the High Court registry to send copies of the judgment to all district judges, sub-judges, judicial magistrates, the Home Secretary, the DGP, and all the SPs to implement the order before January 31, 2013, Mr. Budhia informed.

Source: The Hindu

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