Chargesheet is not a “Public Document”: SC

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    • The SC bench declared chargesheets to be private documents.

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    • The Supreme Court said that the state is not obliged to provide the public free access to chargesheets by uploading them on police or government websites.
    • The Court said that putting up chargesheets for public viewing would violate the rights of the accused, victims, and the investing agency.

    What is a Chargesheet

    • A charge sheet refers to a formal police record showing the names of each person brought into custody, the nature of the accusations, and the identity of the accusers. The charge sheet contains majorly 4 parts
      • Information about the accused and the witnesses
    • The charges and specifications
    • The preferring of charges and their referral to a summary
    • For the trial record
    • The charge sheet is to be filed within 60 days from the date of arrest of the accused in cases triable by lower courts and 90 days in cases triable by the Court of Sessions.
    • No case for grant of bail will be made under section 167(2) of the CrPC if the charge sheet is filed before the expiry of 90 days or 60 days, as the case may be, from the date of first remand.
    • The right of default bail is lost, once the charge sheet is filed.
    • A charge sheet is distinct from the FIR, which is the core document that describes a crime that has been committed.
    • Chargesheet usually refers to one or more FIRs and charges on an individual or organization for the crimes specified in those FIR.
    • Once the charge sheet has been submitted to a court of law, prosecution proceedings against the accused begin in the judicial system.

    What is the First Information Report?

    • F.I.R. means any information recorded by an on-duty officer given by an aggrieved person or any other person either in writing or made orally about the commission of a Cognizable Offence
    • Based on the information provided F.I.R. can be registered by the Judicial Magistrate by giving direction to the concerned jurisdictional area of the Police Station.
    • Zero F.I.R.: With the help of zero F.I.R., a complaint can be lodged at any police station irrespective of the jurisdiction of the Police Station. It is an amendment that came after Nirbhaya Rape Case.

    More Information

    Default Bail: It is a sort of a rap on the knuckles of the police for not completing the investigation and filing the final report within 90 or 60 days of the first remand of the accused.

    Cognizable offence:  Cognizable offence means an offence for which, a police officer may, in accordance with the First Schedule or under any other law for the time bell in force, arrest without warrant. Cognizable offences are usually serious in nature.

    Source: IE