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Investigating Authorities can not order charge Sheets to be uploaded on website.

Judgment Name: Saurav Das vs Union of India
Judgment Date: January 20, 2023
Bench: Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice Bela M. Trivedi

Brief facts of this case:

A bench made up of judges MR Shah and CT Ravikumar held onto it while rejecting a PIL filed by RTI activist and investigative journalist Saurav Das. The court ordered the police to upload his FIR to the website within 24 hours, except for sensitive cases such as rape and sex crimes. You described trust as “misplaced.” The court ruled that the order in the Juvenile Bar Association case could not be extended to prosecution. FIR is instructed to upload to her so innocent defendants will not be abused and will not be caught off guard with exoneration from a court of competent jurisdiction.
As far as tariffs are concerned, this instruction cannot be applied to the general public. The court also held that the supposed instruction to publish all indictments was inconsistent with the CrPC scheme’s publication of his FIR on his website is not the same as publication of a charge sheet,” the order reads.


Contentions of the Appellants :

The appellants vehemently submitted that as per the aforesaid provisions when a duty is cast upon the Investigating Agency to furnish the copy of the challans/charge-sheets along with all other documents to the accused, the same also should be in the public domain to have the transparency in the working of the Criminal Justice System. vehemently submitted that the charge sheet is a public document once filed in the Court. Reliance is placed on Sections 74 and 76 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.


Finding and Observations of the Court :

The Supreme Court refuses to order indictments (charge sheets ) filed by law enforcement agencies to be uploaded to public websites for public access . The Court has stated that the Youth Bar Association of India vs. Union of India (2016) 9 SCC 473 instructions to upload FIR
cannot be extended to prosecution. The court ordered a copy of the FIR to be uploaded within 24 hours. Police websites or state government websites can prevent innocent defendants from being abused and obtain exoneration from competent courts, for the benefit of the accused, and they will not be surprised. Order favors defendants and cannot be applied to the general public as far as the indictment is concerned – Article 4.1 Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 – Sections 173, 207 – Instructions for Public Upload of Records to Schemes of CrPC – All Records and related documents produced with the Records must be in the public domain or on the website of the State Government to which they belong. If posted violations violate the scheme of the Code of Criminal Procedure and may violate the rights of defendants, victims and/or even investigative authorities. FIR’s publication on the website is not the same as his publication of the indictment along with relevant documents on the state government’s website. Required documents not considered public documents for the purposes of section 74 of the Code of Evidence The Code of Evidence is a private document. Therefore, the documents accompanying the Indictment/Indictment cannot be said to be official documents under Section 74 of the Evidence Act. The reliance on Sections 74 and 76 of the Evidence Act is grossly misplaced – Section 5 Information Act 2005 – Copies of tariffs and relevant documents accompanying tariffs can be found in Section 4(1) of the FTI Act ( Not subject to b) – paragraph 6

Name of the Writer : Divyanjali B Rathore
College: Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law , Punjab.

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