Accused, who till now had been deprived of getting a copy of the First Information Report (FIR), can finally have one by paying `6 at the police station.
Following a recent judgment of the Orissa High Court, the Crime Branch has come up with a circular comprising clear guidelines to be followed for issuance of FIR copy to the applicant within 24 hours of the receipt of the application.
The FIRs will also have to be uploaded on the website of the Odisha Police within 24 hours of its registration, except if it is sensitive in nature.
Police can, however, refuse to hand over a copy if cases relate to rape, gangrape, protection of children from sexual offences, juvenile justice and official secrets among others.
The deadline for uploading on the website, which is expected to bring in greater transparency and safeguard right to information, has been fixed on January 31, 2013. “Odisha will be the second State in the country, after Delhi, to put in place such a mechanism,” Additional Director-General of Police, CB, Bijay Sharma, told this paper.
As per the circular, a person, who suspects to have been named in an FIR, can submit an application through his representative for a certified copy before the inspector in-charge (IIC) or in the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP)/Superintendent of Police (SP) on all working days along with a fee of `6 per FIR for one sheet and `2 for each additional sheet.
Once the application is received, the duty officer at the police station will hand over an acknowledgement and place the same before the IIC, who will assess the “sensitivity” of the FIR and send a report to the DCP/SP for approval for supply or refusal. The DCP/SP can have a designated officer not below the rank of DSP/ACP for clearing the applications.
Basing on the sensitivity report, the DCP/SP or the designated officer will decide if the FIR copy can be supplied and uploaded on the website or not. “The reasons to refuse supply of the FIR would be recorded in writing by such authority. The decision for refusal shall also be communicated to the magistrate having jurisdiction and police station concerned,” Sharma said.
If the case is not considered sensitive, the officer will ask the District Crime Records Bureau (DCRB) or the police station to supply the copy within 24 hours. A refusal will also have to be communicated by the police. In case an FIR does not exist, the applicant has to be informed.
A refusal can be contested and a three-member review committee comprising senior officers will have to take a call within three working days.