February 2, 2023
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A cost sheet is a report ready by investigation companies for proving the accusation of against the law

New Delhi:

A cost sheet filed by an investigating company isn’t a public doc, the Supreme Court stated on Friday, holding that placing it in public area will violate the rights of each the sufferer and the accused. 

The prime court docket made the observations whereas listening to a plea by journalist Saurav Das in search of free public entry to cost sheets and remaining experiences filed as per Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

“If the relief as prayed in the present petition is allowed and all the chargesheets and relevant documents produced along with the chargesheets are put on the public domain or on the websites of the State Governments it will be contrary to the Scheme of the Criminal Procedure Code and it may as such violate the rights of the accused as well as the victim and/or even the investigating agency.

“Putting the FIR on the web site can’t be equated with placing the cost sheets together with the related paperwork on the general public area and on the web sites of the State Governments,” a bench of Justices M R Shah and C T Ravikumar said.

The top court dismissed the PIL for lack of merit. The Supreme Court orally observed that if FIRs are given to those unrelated to the case like busybodies and NGOs, they might be misused.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan submitted it is the duty of every public authority to put out that information suo motu (of its own accord). Bhushan submitted while the direction of the top court to police to publish copies of FIRs on their websites has induced transparency in the working of the criminal justice system, the logic of disclosure applies more strongly to charge sheets as they are filed after due investigation.

A charge sheet is a report prepared by investigation or law enforcement agencies for proving the accusation of a crime. Once the charge sheet has been submitted to a court of law, prosecution proceedings against the accused begin.

As per section section 207 CrPC, the investigating agency is required to furnish the copies of the charge sheet along with the relevant documents to be relied upon by the prosecution to the accused and nobody else.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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