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Delhi High Court Issues Notice On Plea For Easy Access Of FIR, Chargesheet & Court Orders To Under Trial Prisoners

Akshita Saxena
5 Oct 2021 9:30 AM GMT
Delhi High Court Issues Notice On Plea For Easy Access Of FIR, Chargesheet & Court Orders To Under Trial Prisoners
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The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the Delhi Government and the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) on a plea seeking access for under trial prisoners to copy of the FIR, Chargesheet, evidence or other trial court records, on an application made thereto.A Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh has kept the matter for hearing on November 29.The plea has been...

The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the Delhi Government and the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) on a plea seeking access for under trial prisoners to copy of the FIR, Chargesheet, evidence or other trial court records, on an application made thereto.

A Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh has kept the matter for hearing on November 29.

The plea has been filed by Advocate Alok Tripathi, panel lawyer of the Delhi High Court Legal Service Committee and presently serving as the Jail Visiting Advocate for Central Jail No. 7, Tihar.

Tripathi states that during his visit to the Central Jail, he encountered several inmates (involved in offences under section 4 POCSO, 6 POCSO, 376 IPC etc) who do not have a copy of their FIR, Chargesheet, evidence or other relevant documents of the trial court proceedings and as a result, they are unable to take any legal remedy of bail or interim bail.

"Various inmates have demanded their copy of the documents from the concerned court/ DLSA, however, they have not been able to procure the copy of the documents yet and are unable to take any legal remedy of bail or interim bail," the plea avers.

It adds,

"Trial in the matters is not progressing due to the circumstances beyond control and as such the UTPs cannot be withheld to pursue legal remedies available under law till indefinite period of time."

It is highlighted that such UTPs are so precariously entangled that neither there is any progress in their trial nor have they been able to avail their remedy of filing bail applications before the Courts which is a serious infringement of their fundamental right to seek remedies provided under the law, and the right to personal liberty enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

The plea also challenges a circular issued by the DSLSA which further restricts the inmates to obtain the copy of their documents and puts a complete bar on the UTPs having private counsels to obtain certified copy of documents.

It is also clarified that the petition concerns the rights and interests of following UTPs:

i. UTPs who have availed the services of legal aid counsel for pursuing their trial before the trial court and are unable to avail further remedy of bail/interim bail in the absence of documents;
ii. UTPs who have availed the services of private counsels and have not been able to contact their respective counsel during the lockdown period and are unable to avail further remedy of bail/interim bail in the absence of documents;
iii. UTPs who now wish to seek the services of legal aid counsel and are unable to avail further remedy of bail/interim bail in the absence of documents;
iv. UTPs who do not have any counsel to represent and are not local residents of Delhi and do not have any source and means to engage a counsel and are unable to avail any remedy in the absence of documents.
As a matter of long-term solution to the issue at hand, the Petitioner seeks a direction upon the Respondents to devise a mechanism so that the FIR, Chargesheet, Evidence and other records of UTPs may be scanned and uploaded on the website of respective district courts.

Case Title: Alok Tripathi v. State (NCT) of Delhi & Anr.

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