Accused – Entitled to Get Copy of FIR

An accused is entitled to get a copy of the first information report at an earlier stage than as prescribed under Section 207 CrPC.

An accused who has reasons to suspect that he has been roped in a criminal case and his name may be finding place in a first information report can submit an application though his representative/agent/pairokar for grant of a certified copy before the police officer concerned or to the Superintendent of Police on payment of such fee which is payable for obtaining such a copy from the court. On such application being made, the copy shall be supplied within twenty four hours.

Once the first information report is forwarded by the police station to the Magistrate concerned or any Special Judge, on an application being filed for certified copy on behalf of the accused, the same shall be given by the court concerned within two working days. The aforesaid direction has nothing to do with the statutory mandate inhered under Section 207 CrPC.

The copies of FIRs, unless the offence is sensitive in nature, like sexual offences, offences pertaining to insurgency, terrorism and of that category, offences under the POSCO Act and such other offences, should be uploaded on the police website, and if there is no such website, on the official website of the State Government, within twenty four hours of the registration of the first information report so that the accused or any person connected with the same can download the FIR and file appropriate application before the court as per law for redressal of his grievances.  Youth Bar Association of India v. Union of India, (2016) 9 SCC 473.

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Grant of Bail – Factors to be considered

In Kalyan Chandra Sarkar v. Rajesh Ranjan, (2004) 7 SCC 528, it was held as under:

“The law in regard to grant or refusal of bail is very well settled. The court granting bail should exercise its discretion in a judicious manner and not as a matter of course. Though at the stage of granting bail a detailed examination of evidence and elaborate documentation of the merit of the case need not be undertaken, there is a need to indicate in such orders reasons for prima facie concluding why bail was being granted particularly where the accused is charged of having committed a serious offence. Any order devoid of such reasons would suffer from non-application of mind. It is also necessary for the court granting bail to consider among other circumstances, the following factors also before granting bail; they are:

  • The nature of accusation and the severity of punishment in case of conviction and the nature of supporting evidence.
  • Reasonable apprehension of tampering with the witness or apprehension of threat to the complainant.
  • Prima facie satisfaction of the court in support of the charge.

The Hon’ble Apex Court in Rajesh Ranjan Yadav v. CBI, (2007) 1 SCC 70, balanced the fundamental right to individual liberty with the interest of the society in the following terms:

“While it is true that Article 21 is of great importance because it enshrines the fundamental right to individual liberty, but at the same time a balance has to be struck between the right to individual liberty and the interest of society. No right can be absolute and reasonable restrictions can be placed on them. While it is true that one of the considerations in deciding whether to grant bail to an accused or not is whether he has been in jail for a long time, the court has also to take into consideration other facts and circumstances, such as the interest of the society.”

In Ash Mohammad v. Shiv Raj Singh, (2012) 9 SCC 446, the Hon’ble Apex Court in the same vein had observed that though the period of custody is a relevant factor, the same has to be weighed simultaneously with the totality of the circumstances and the criminal antecedents. That these are to be weighed in the scale of collective cry and desire and that social concern has to be kept in view in juxtaposition to individual liberty, was underlined. Chandrakeshwar Prasad v. State of Bihar, (2016) 9 SCC 443.

Framing of Charge

It is settled position of law that at the time of framing a charge the accused has no right to produce any material because the expression “record of the cases” in Section 227 CrPC refers to the material produced by the prosecution and not by the accused.

The Sessions Judge has the power to discharge the accused in the following circumstances:

  • Where the evidence produced is not sufficient,
  • Where there is no legal ground for proceeding against the accused,
  • Where the prosecution is clearly barred by limitation, or
  • Where he is precluded from proceeding because of a prior judgment of High Court.

In Kanti Bhadra Shah v. State of Bengal, 2000 (40) ACC 441, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that the discharge order must contain reasons but an order of framing charge cannot be quashed merely because it does not contain reasons.

In State of J&K v. Sudarshan Khakkar, 1997 (35) ACC 414 and in Rukmani Narvekar v. Vijaya Satardekar, 2009 (66) ACC 480, it has been held that no weight is to be attached to the probable defence of the accused and at the time of framing of the charge, the Court has to confine its attention to documents referred to under Section 173 CrPC only. Aaram Singh v. State of U.P., 2016 (96) ACC 738.