The Supreme Court today (July 23) dismissed a petition that sought a court directive to Director Generals of Police of different states and respective home secretaries for devising a mechanism for ensuring supply of certified copy of FIRs to the accused within 24 hours.
The bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Subhash Reddy and MR Shah said that the bench was not inclined to entertain the petition in light of the prevailing pandemic situation.
Petitioner Avishek Goenka’s plea was that, having regard to the prevailing pandemic situation, the availability of an FIR attains immense importance “as courts of jurisdictional magistrates are closed, forcing the accused persons to abandon their legal remedy, which is violative of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution.”
The petitioner further raised a question before the court as to whether the order passed by the Supreme Court in Youth Bar Association of India vs Union of India (2016) 9 SCC 473 in relation to the supply of the certified copy of FIR by police/jurisdictional magistrate requires re-consideration in view of the present pandemic situation.
Citing the importance of a copy of an FIR, the petitioner had submitted that “the accused persons can seek any legal remedy effectively only if he/she has the copy of FIR along with a copy of the complaint. In normal circumstances, one can get the same from the court of jurisdictional magistrate. With the closure of courts of jurisdictional magistrate, the accused persons are left in lurch and are at mercy of the police for the copy of FIR. Non availability of a copy of FIR effectively curbs the fundamental rights of such persons.”
– India Legal Bureau