The Supreme Court dismissed a petition that sought a court directive to Director Generals of Police of various 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 wasn’t inclined to entertain the petition in light of the prevailing pandemic situation.
Petitioner Avishek Goenka’s plea was that, having reference to the prevailing pandemic situation, the koprovision 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 an issue before the court on whether the order gone by the Supreme Court in Youth Bar Association of India vs Union of India (2016) 9 SCC 473 in reference to the availability of the certified copy of FIR by police/jurisdictional magistrate requires re-consideration in sight of this pandemic situation.
Citing the importance of a replica of an FIR, the petitioner had submitted that “the accused persons can seek any legal remedy effectively as long as he/she has the copy of FIR along side a replica of the complaint. In normal circumstances, one can get an equivalent 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 replica of FIR effectively curbs the basic rights of such persons.”