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Home » IANS » Supply prosecution report copy to undertrials: HC

Supply prosecution report copy to undertrials: HC

By IANS
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New Delhi, June 30 (IANS) The Delhi High Court has clarified that whenever the courts call for any report either from the police or the jail authorities, a copy of the same shall also be given to the accused so that he or she can properly understand the reasons given therein and defend their case.

“A copy of the report given by the Jail Superintendent as well as the report given by the Investigating Officer should be supplied to the applicant so that accused can properly understand the reasons given therein and defend their case in the court of law. This is a basic need for access to justice and for rendering justice to the public at large,” said the court.

The observations came while a division bench of the high court presided by Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan allowed the petition filed by Chirag Madan seeking directions of the court for supplying in advance the status reports, report by the jail superintendent and reply copy filed on behalf of the prosecution while hearing bail applications of undertrials.

The court also said that as far as possible, the report of the Investigating Officer as well as of the Jail Superintendent should be given to the court in advance.

“Similarly, copies of these reports should also be given to the accused/applicant in advance so that they can also defend their case effectively and efficiently in the court of law,” it said.

The petitioner through his plea appraised that court that over the period of time, he has experienced that it has become a trend before the trial courts not to supply the copy of such reports and replies on behalf of the prosecution in response to the bail applications filed by accused persons under Section 437,438 and 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

Opposing the petition filed by Madan, Delhi government senior standing counsel (Criminal) Rahul Mehra said that normally, there is no reason for not supplying the copy of the report given by the Jail Superintendent or even the report of the Investigating Officer (I.O.) except in exceptional cases where reasons are recorded in writing in the order.

He further added that the report of the Jail Superintendent is given directly to the court, such report may be regarding the medical condition as pointed out by the accused, or may be on the conduct of the accused, etc.

Following which the court ruled that whenever the court is relying upon a report of the Jail Superintendent, which is normally called by the order of the court for a specific purpose on case to case basis, the copy of the same should be given to the accused, save and except in exceptional cases.

–IANS

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