The Delhi High Court has directed city Police Commissioner B K Gupta to ensure that all the First Information Reports (FIRs) lodged by the police are put on its website within 24 hours of the complaint being filed.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Manmohan said yesterday that receiving a copy of the FIR is a right of the accused and it comes under the right to information and right to life.
The copy must be handed over to the accused first.
The High Court directed that the order should be implemented soon and should come into force from February 1, 2011.
The High Court's directions came on a letter written by an individual drawing its attention to the accused's right to get a copy of the FIR. Since, at present there is no rule that an accused has a right to immediately get the copy of FIR after it is filed.
The court converted the letter into a petition.
Under section 207 of the CrPC, the copy of FIR and other documents are provided to the accused only when the charge sheet is filed in court. Section 154 of CrPC provides only the complainant has the right to receive the copy of FIR.
Amicus curie Arvind Nigam, appointed by the court earlier, submitted that recording of FIR is an official act of a public official in discharge of his official duties and, therefore, it becomes a public document.
The court ruled that fair and impartial investigation is a facet of article 21 of the Constitution (Right to life and liberty), and is the statutory duty of a police officer to provide an accused free copies of police report, first information report and all other documents and relevant extracts.
Additional Solicitor General A S Chandhiok, appearing on behalf of Delhi, submitted that an accused is not entitled to receive an FIR in certain cases like kidnapping for ransom, cases involving trauma like murder and rape, cases dealing with gangsters where life of witnesses is threatened, cases related to terrorists and national security and those registered under the Official Secrets Act.
The High Court directed the police to constitute a three-member committee of higher officers within eight weeks to deal with his or her grievances in case of denial of copy of FIR on the ground of cases being sensitive in nature which will dispose of the representation of the accused within three days from the date of receiving them.