Give FIR copy to accused immediately: HC asks Odisha govt

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Cuttack: In a significant ruling, Orissa High Court on Friday directed the state government to provide copies of FIR to accused persons immediately on demand.In order to protect their right to life and personal liberty, the accused or their kin would now get the copies of FIR on payment of a nominal fee.

While the criminal justice system in the country has the provision to supply the copy of the FIR immediately to the complainant alone, the?accused persons were debarred of this facility.

Without the FIR, the accused person was unable to know the exact nature of allegations levelled against him and?therefore he was also not able to approach the appropriate forum for getting a relief.

Disposing off a PIL filed by a public spirited lawyer Arun Kumar Budhia, a Division Bench headed by Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda asked the police to upload the FIR in police website within 24 hours of registration of the case.

The police station should also make arrangements to give a copy of the FIR to the accused persons or their kin within 24 hours of application on payment of a nominal fee, informed the petitioner advocate.

In case the police station fails to provide the copy of FIR within the stipulated time, a committee comprising three high-level police officers should declare within three working days as to why the FIR copy was not made available to the applicant, the HC said in its order.

Similarly, the concerned magistrate holding trial in the case should also provide the copy of the FIR to the interested persons within two working days of the application.

Delivering this judgement, the Chief Justice also directed the High Court registry to send the copies of the judgement to all district judges, sub-judges, judicial magistrates, the home secretary, DGP, and all SPs to implement the order within January 31, 2013, Budhia informed.

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