In a significant judgment, the Orissa High Court on Friday issued guidelines directing supply of FIR copies to the accused if they applied for the same. Under the existing system, FIR copies are provided only to the complainant free of cost.
Delivering the verdict on a PIL filed by city-based advocate Arun Kumar Budhia, the division bench of Chief Justice V Gopalagowda and Justice SK Mishra laid the guidelines which are to be implemented by January 31. The police have been directed to upload FIR copies on to the Odisha Police Website within 24 hours of its registration and also to provide a copy to the accused or to his relatives in lieu of some fees to be decided by the Police Department.
It has also been stipulated that in case an accused applies for the certified copy of FIR before the concerned Magistrate’s court, it shall be supplied in two working days. To regulate such affairs, the Court has directed the department to constitute a high-level Committee within eight weeks. The petitioner had stated that after lodging of FIR the accused concerned had no scope to know about the allegations made against him. Often, they was a victim of false allegations.
Moreover, the accused persons were also facing a lot of difficulties in obtaining a copy of the FIR for seeking anticipatory bail. Considering such pleas, the court directed to provide FIR copy to accused persons.