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.

Investigation – Powers of a Magistrate

In Vinay Tyagi v.Irshad Ali, (2013) 5 SCC 762, it was held as under:

“(1) The Magistrate has no power to direct ‘reinvestigation’ or ‘fresh investigation’ (de novo) in the case initiated on the basis of a police report.

(2) A Magistrate has the power to direct ‘further investigation’ after filing of a police report in terms of Section 173 (6) of the Code.

(3) Neither the scheme of the Code nor any specific provision therein bars exercise of such jurisdiction by the Magistrate. The language of Section 173(2) of Criminal Procedure Code cannot be construed so restrictively as to deprive the Magistrate of such powers particularly in face of the provisions of Section 156(3) and the language of Section 173(8) itself. In fact, such power would have to be read into the language of Section 173(8).

(4) The Criminal Procedure Code is a procedural document, thus, it must receive a construction which would advance the cause of justice and legislative object to be achieved. It does not stand to reason that the legislature provided power of further investigation to the police even after filing a report, but intended to curtail the power of the court to the extent that even where the facts of the case and the ends of justice demand, the court can still not direct the investigating agency to conduct further investigation which it could do on its own.

(6) Whether the Magistrate should direct ‘further investigation’ or not is again a matter which will depend upon the facts of a given case. The learned Magistrate or the higher court of competent jurisdiction would direct ‘further investigation’ or ‘reinvestigation’ as the case may be, on the facts of a given case. Where the Magistrate can only direct further investigation, the courts of higher jurisdiction can direct further, reinvestigation or even investigation de novo depending on the facts of a given case. It will be the specific order of the court that would determine the nature of investigation. Chandra Babu v. State, (2015) 8 SCC 774.