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"No Infirmity": High Court Upholds Delhi Police's Standing Order Mandating Inclusion Of Advocate's Details In Criminal Dossier Of Accused

Nupur Thapliyal
20 May 2022 4:29 AM GMT
No Infirmity: High Court Upholds Delhi Polices Standing Order Mandating Inclusion Of Advocates Details In Criminal Dossier Of Accused
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The Delhi High Court has upheld a standing order issued by the city police mandating inclusion of Advocates' details in Criminal Dossier of an accused, observing that there was no infirmity in the same.

A division bench comprising of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla was of the view that merely because particulars of the advocate may be entered into the confidential record, it does not follow that such an advocate would be hounded or put under surveillance.

"The purpose of the Criminal Dossier is merely to record the particulars of the accused, including the name of the advocate who may be representing such an accused. Merely for this reason alone, it cannot not be said that the Standing Order suffers from any infirmity or violates any Fundamental Rights of the accused, as enshrined in the Constitution of India. The said information is not placed in public domain. It is confidential," the bench added.

The Court also observed that the investigating authorities are entitled to maintain a database for their own use, of the accused, if they meet the requirements of the aforesaid circular.

"The mere inclusion of the name and particulars of the advocate would not deter the advocate from representing the accused, as that fact is there for everyone to notice," the Court said further.

The Court thus dismissed a plea challenging a guideline in the circular in question which mandated inclusion of Advocates' details in Criminal Dossier of an accused as being illegal, arbitrary and violative of Articles 14 , 21 and 22 of the Constitution of India.

The plea had also challenged the said circular to the effect that it mandated preparation of personal Dossier an ordinary accused, as illegal, arbitrary and violative of Article 14 and 21.

"It is well known that litigants, including those accused of commission of a crime, engage the same counsel often. There are also situations, where it becomes difficult to find and serve the accused, if he has not been taken into custody, or is released on bail. Information about who is the advocate of such an accused, may come in handy to contact and locate the accused. In any event, there are sufficient safeguards in the law in this regard," the Court said.

Perusing the standing order issued by the Delhi Police, the Court said that no infirmity can be found in the same.

"In view of the above, we find no merit in the present petition, and the same is dismissed. There shall be no order as to costs," the Bench added.

Case Title: SAURABH AGARWAL v. STATE OF GOVERNMENT OF NCT OF DELHI & ORS.

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 474

Click Here To Read Order


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