The High Court of Odisha, Cuttack on Friday directed the police to supply the FIR copy to the accused person or his/ her relatives within 24 hours of filing the FIR.
A DIVISION bench constituting the Chief Justice of Odisha High Court V Gopal Goud and Justice Sanjay Kumar Mishra issued guidelines while delivering judgement on a public interest litigation (PIL) to supply the FIR copy within 24 hours of filing the FIR to the accused person or to his relatives in lieu of some fee, which would be decided by the Police Department.
The PIL was filed by advocate Arun Kumar Budhia. According to Indian Criminal Procedural law earlier the complainant used to get free copy of FIR now onwards accused has rights over FIR. Also stated in the guidelines is that if the accused approaches a magistrate for an FIR copy it should be provided in two days. The court also directed to constitute a high level committee within eight weeks to regulate such affairs. This ruling should be enforced before 31st January 2013, the court ruled.
The court also directed the government to produce the accused before the nearest magistrate within 24 hours of the detention. An FIR copy is a public document and should be uploaded on Odisha Police website immediately within 24 hours of its registration. The judgment copies have been sent to all the collectors, superintendents of police of all the districts, the DGPs and to the home department for an implementation.
Though some police officials expressed that lack of facilities like electricity and Internet access in police stations could be a hindrance in implementing the court orders, other officials said that FIR copies can be sent to another nearest police station, which has a running Internet connection.
The high court also mentioned in its order that accused person or the members of his family can directly approach the police chief of the district for an immediate action, if they are not provided the FIR copy.