Delhi High Court: A Division Bench of D.N. Patel, CJ and Prateek Jalan, J., allowed a writ petition that sought supply of status report/report of the Jail Superintendent/reply filed on behalf of the prosecution at the time of hearing bail applications.
Why has the present Public Interest Litigation been filed?
To pass directions for supply of status reports/report by the Jail Superintendent on behalf of the prosecution at the time hearing bail applications under Sections 437, 438 and 439 CrPC before the Metropolitan Magistrates and Sessions Judges to accused/counsel for the accused.
Siddharth Luthra, Senior Counsel for the petitioner submitted that in several cases, reports are being called from Jail Superintendent in bail matters. The same are being relied upon by the Courts, but the copies thereof are not being supplied to the accused.
Further he pointed out various matters where orders have been passed, dismissing the bail application preferred by the accused by relying upon the report given by the Jail Superintendent.
Court on perusal of the above, stated that, Senior Counsel Rahul Mehra has submitted that there is no specific statement, looking to the orders which were annexed to the effect that in spite of demand, the accused has not been supplied a copy of the report of the Jail Superintendent.
Standing Counsel for the State pointed that normally, the report of the Jail Superintendent is given to the Court.
Ordinarily, as a general rule, it ought to be kept in mind by the Courts that whenever any report is called for from the Jail Superintendent and is given to the Court either directly or through APP, copy thereof should be given to the applicant of the bail application.
— High Court
Further the Court added that every rule has its own exceptions and, depending upon the facts and circumstances of the case, there may be some cases where the report cannot be so supplied.
However, as a general rule, copy of the report given by the Jail Superintendent as well as the report given by the Investigating Officer should be supplied to the applicant so that accused can properly understand the reasons given therein and defend their case in the Court of Law.
Thus, with the above observations, petition was disposed of. [Chirag Madan v. UOI, 2020 SCC OnLine Del 699 , decided on 29-06-2020]