Bhubaneswar, Sep 18:
In spite of the directive of the Odisha High Court to the state government and the District Police to upload all FIR copies on their websites within 24 hours of their registration, not a single copy has been uploaded in either of the web portals after seven and half months of the court’s order.
The High Court had issued the directive on October 5, 2012 to enable the accused or any person involved in the case to access the FIR copy in these web portals and seek legal aid such as applying for advance bail by downloading a copy of the FIR copy from the portal and submitting it to the court.
Leave alone the State Police, the chief minister, in charge of the Home portfolio, has also shown no urgency in implementing the court order.
The High Court had passed the order in response to a PIL in which the petitioner had stated that the accused had no way of finding out the status of the case due to the non-availability of the FIR copy and was thus deprived of getting any legal assistance and protection from the court.
While the state government, in its affidavit, had informed the High Court that under Section 207 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), there is a provision to provide the FIR copy and all police records to the accused after the charge-sheet is submitted to the court, the petitioner, on the other hand, had maintained that the accused receives the FIR copy much later.
Supporting the contention of the petitioner, the High Court had later asked the police to provide the FIR copy to the accused soon after its registration. If the accused or any of his/her representatives seeks the FIR copy, the police are duty bound to provide it within 24 hours after receiving the specified fee, the court had said i its order.
The court had also directed the police to upload the FIR on its website within 24 hours of its registration unless the case is of a sensitive nature. Besides, it had also made it clear that the police officers of the rank of DSP, ACP or higher would take a final decision on uploading the FIR copies on the website after examining the nature of the case.
“In case the police decides to upload an FIR copy in a sensitive case, it has to take prior permission from the local magistrate”, the High Court had ruled.
It had also stated that if an accused fails to get the FIR copy from the police due to the sensitive nature of the case, he/she can directly apply to the SP/DCP.
On receipt of the application, the concerned SP, within eight weeks of the court order, will form a committee comprising three senior police officers which will take a decision in the matter within three days.
However, the state government, which was expected to seriously take up the elaborate directive of the court in letter and spirit, has done nothing till date.
The government has neither sought more time from the court to implement its directive nor has it filed a review petition seeking amendment in the court order.