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As a general rule, a copy of Jail Superintendent and Investigating Officer's Report should be supplied to the accused to allow him to defend his case before a court of law, the Delhi High Court has ordered.
Depending upon the facts and circumstances of the case, there may be some cases where the report cannot be so supplied, the Court has clarified.
The order was passed by Chief Justice DN Patel and Prateek Jalan in a PIL by one Chirag Madan.
The PIL sought directions for the supply of status reports/reports which are filed by the Jail Superintendent as a reply filed on behalf of the prosecution to the accused, at the time of hearing bail applications under sections 437, 438 and 439 of CrPC before a court.
Appearing for the Petitioner, Senior Advocate Siddharth Luthra stated that in several cases, reports were called from Jail Superintendents in bail matters but the same were not being supplied to the accused.
Standing Counsel (Crl) Rahul Mehra appearing for the State submitted that there was no specific statement in the petition to the effect that in spite of demand, the accused has not been supplied a copy of the report of the Jail Superintendent.
It was further submitted that normally, there was no reason for not supplying the copy of the report given by the Jail Superintendent or even the report of the Investigating Officer, save and except in exceptional cases, where reasons were recorded in writing in the order.
After hearing the parties and looking to the facts and circumstances, the Court noted that whenever a court was relying upon a report of the Jail Superintendent, the copy of the same should be given to the accused, save and except in exceptional cases.
Every rule has its own exceptions and, depending upon the facts and circumstances of the case, there may be some cases where the report cannot be so supplied, the Court noted.
As far as possible, the report of the Investigating Officer as well as of the Jail Superintendent should be given to the Court in advance and similarly, the copies of these reports should also be given to the accused/applicant in advance, it added.
The writ petition was accordingly allowed and disposed of with a direction to the authorities to ensure the compliance of the order.
Senior Advocate Siddharth Luthra along with Advocates Ravleen Sabharwal, Cheitanya Madan, Sai Krishna, Akshay Sehgal, Saif Shams appeared for the petitioner.
Mehra was assisted by Advocate Chaitanya Gosain.
Read the Order: