SC passes directions on details to be mentioned in police report

SC passes directions on details to be mentioned in police report

New Delhi | Observing that investigating officers often do not comply with the requirements of section 173 (2) of the CrPC while submitting charge sheet or police report, the Supreme Court on Tuesday passed directions about the details to be mentioned in the final report.

Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) deals with report of police officer on completion of investigation and 173 (2) states that as soon as it is completed, the officer-in-charge of the police station shall forward to a magistrate empowered to take cognisance of the offence on a police report, a report in the form prescribed by the state government.

A bench of Justices Bela M Trivedi and Pankaj Mithal said the police report submitted under section 173(2) of CrPC was a "very important piece of document" from the view point of the prosecution, the defence and the court.

"We are more concerned with section 173(2) as we have found that the investigating officers while submitting the charge sheet/ police report do not comply with the requirements of the said provision," the bench said.

The top court said it was incumbent on the part of the investigating officer to strictly comply with the requirements of the provisions, as non-compliance gives rise to many legal issues in the court of law.

"Ergo, having regard to the provisions contained in section 173 it is hereby directed that the report of police officer on the completion of investigation shall contain the following: A report in the form prescribed by the state government stating -- the names of the parties; the nature of the information; the names of the persons who appear to be acquainted with the circumstances of the case, whether any offence appears to have been committed and, if so, by whom…," the bench said.

It said the report shall also contain details including whether the accused has been arrested, whether he has been released on his bond and, if so, whether with or without sureties.

The apex court said the report shall state whether the report of medical examination of the woman has been attached where investigation relates to sexual assault offences.

"If upon the completion of investigation, there is no sufficient evidence or reasonable ground of suspicion to justify the forwarding of the accused to a magistrate, the police officer in charge shall clearly state in the report about the compliance of section 169 CrPC," it said.

Section 169 CrPC deals with release of accused when evidence is deficient.

The bench directed that officer in charge of the police stations in every state shall strictly comply with these directions and non-compliance shall be strictly viewed by the courts concerned where the police reports have been submitted.

The top court said copy of its order be sent to all chief secretaries of states/ Union Territories as also to the registrars general of the high courts for perusal and compliance.

The issue had cropped up before the apex court while it was dealing with an appeal challenging an order of the Jharkhand High Court which had dismissed a man's plea seeking bail in a murder case.

The bench said it was not inclined to release the appellant on bail, more particularly, when the trial in the case was at the fag end.

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