New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the central and all state governments on a PIL seeking direction that “each and every” FIR on the official website of police within 24 hours of its lodging.
A bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh issued notice on a PIL by Uttarakhand-based Youth Bar Association of India (YBAI) saying that it was necessary that every accused should get a copy of FIR so that he could get legal advice.
Seeking the uploading of the FIRs, the YBAI urged the court to direct the central and state governments to “upload each and every ‘first information report’ lodged in all the police stations within the territory of India in the official website of the police of all states, as early as possible preferably within 24 hours from the time of lodging”.
It cited an earlier apex court judgment which had said: “It is vitally necessary that an accused person should be granted a copy of the first information at the earliest possible state in order that he may get the benefit of legal advice.”
“To put difficulties in the way of his obtaining such a copy is only creating a temptation in the way of the officers who are in possession of the originals,” the order had said.
Appearing for YBAI, lawyers Sanpreet Singh Ajmani, Manohar Pratap, Peeyush Bhatia and Aastha Vashishth told the court that such an uploading of the FIR on the official websites of the police in different states would bring “transparency in administration of criminal justice”.
The FIR, the PIL said, was a public document but to obtain a copy from police is not an easy task for the general public.
Thus, it said, that if the FIR was put on the websites of police in the states, “it would be in the larger public interest and the same will also avoid many difficulties being faced by the general public”.
Pointing to the difficulties that public face in getting the copy of the FIR, the PIL by YBAI said that “Police authorities exploit the person requesting for the copy of the FIR for unlawful gains”.
The notices issued to the central and state governments are returnable in the second week of July.