Accused entitled to copy of status report filed in court, rules Delhi HCUpdated: Jun 30, 2020 22:07 IST
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday said an accused should be given a copy of the status report or reply filed by the jail superintendent in the court in bail matters, while stating that it is not a “secret” and would help him to defend them efficiently after a plea was filed contending that several times that reports are filed in these matters in the court but is not supplied to the accused.
A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan , however, said that whenever the jail superintendent and the Investigating Officer (IO), in bail matters does not supply the reports and replies, the reason should be written in the court order explaining why the accused and his counsel were not being supplied a copy.
“Every rule has an exception & that is also a rule. Depending upon the facts and circumstances as general rule the report of the IO and jail superintendent should be supplied to the accused so that they can assist the court in better manner and defend themselves & it is also basic for access to justice,” the bench said.
The court’s order comes while hearing a plea by advocate Chirag Madan, who had contended that it has become a trend before the trial courts not to supply the copy of status report/report by the jail superintendent/ reply filed on behalf of the prosecution in response to the bail applications filed by the accused persons under relevant sections of Code for Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
The plea filed through advocate Sai Krishna and Cheitanya Madan said that this is not only a violation of the Indian Constitution but also the principles of natural justice. Appearing for the petitioner, senior advocate Siddharth Luthra told the court that the reports are supplied only on request but it is not a matter of right.
Advocate Rahul Mehra, standing counsel of the Delhi government (criminal), told the court that no specific statement has been shown highlighting that the copies are not supplied or denied to the accused. He stated that there is no reason normally to not supply a copy of IO’s report same in exceptional cases the reasons to be recorded in writing for the denying the copy.
Following this, the court said that whenever the court is calling for any reply or status report, either directly or indirectly its copy should be given to the accused so that he can “defend himself efficiently”. It also said that as far as possible, an advance copy of the reports should be given to the accused also for better assistance to the court.
“If there is any secrecy, the reasons can be mentioned in the order,” the bench said while allowing the reliefs sought.