S.207 CrPC | Denial Of Chargesheet Material To Accused Results In Unfair Trial: Karnataka High Court

Mustafa Plumber

16 Aug 2022 6:00 AM GMT

  • S.207 CrPC | Denial Of Chargesheet Material To Accused Results In Unfair Trial: Karnataka High Court

    The Karnataka High Court has reiterated that a petitioner/accused would become entitled to all copies of the charge sheet material, denial of which would undoubtedly be contrary to the principle of fairness and result in an unfair trial. A single judge bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna thus allowed the petition filed by one Chirag R. Mehta, charged for offences under Sections...

    The Karnataka High Court has reiterated that a petitioner/accused would become entitled to all copies of the charge sheet material, denial of which would undoubtedly be contrary to the principle of fairness and result in an unfair trial.

    A single judge bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna thus allowed the petition filed by one Chirag R. Mehta, charged for offences under Sections 364A and 506 of the IPC.

    Mehta had questioned the order of Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge, Bengaluru, only partly allowing his application under Section 207 (Supply to the accused of copy of police report and other documents) of the CrPC seeking copies of chargesheet documents. 

    The trial court had declined to furnish copies of documents that are enclosed to the charge sheet on the ground that the Investigating Officer has not produced them before the Court. The application was allowed to the extent of permitting the counsel for the accused to inspect electronic records before the Court and directs the matter to be listed for further evidence.

    Findings:

    At the outset, the bench referred to the case of Muzammil Pasha v. NIA where it was held that while furnishing the list of statements, documents and material objects under Sections 207/208 CrPC, the Magistrate should also ensure that a list of other materials, (such as statements, or objects/documents seized, but not relied on) should be furnished to the accused. This is to ensure that in case the accused is of the view that such materials are necessary to be produced for a proper and just trial, she or he may seek appropriate orders, under CrPC.

    It was further held that the concept of fair disclosure would take in its ambit furnishing of a document which the prosecution relies upon whether filed in court or not. That document should essentially be furnished to the accused and even in the cases where during investigation a document is bona fide obtained by the investigating agency and in the opinion of the Prosecutor is relevant and would help in arriving at the truth, that document should also be disclosed to the accused.

    Accordingly, the High Court said,

    "In the light of the judgment rendered by this Court, the petitioner/accused would become entitled to all copies of the charge sheet material, denial of which would undoubtedly be contrary to the principle of fairness and results in an unfair trial."

    The court referred to the reasons mentioned in the order passed by the trial court for partly allowing the application filed by the accused and said ,"The afore-quoted reason can hardly be said to be satisfactory for partly allowing the application under Section 207 of the Cr.P.C."

    It added ,

    "Therefore, the order passed by the learned Sessions Judge sans countenance and is to be obliterated to the extent of not allowing the application in full and a direction ensue in favour of the petitioner to the prosecution to furnish documents that are sought in the application filed by the petitioner. While doing so, the prosecution shall bear in mind the method of furnishing the same as is held by the Apex Court in the case of P. Gopalkrishnan @ Dileep V. State Of Kerala And Another – (2020) 9 SCC 161."

    Case Title: CHIRAG R. MEHTA v THE STATE OF KARNATAKA

    Case No: CRIMINAL PETITION NO. 5712 OF 2022

    Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 317

    Date of Order: 06TH DAY OF JULY, 2022

    Appearance: Senior Advocate MURTHY D.NAIK, FOR Advocate VIKRAM RAMALINGAM R for petitioner; HCGP K.S.ABHIJITH

    Click Here To Read/Download Order

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