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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