HC directs court clerks to acknowledge receipt of final report from police

In a significant order, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has directed that as and when final reports are filed before the jurisdictional court, the court clerks concerned should acknowledge the receipt of the same by affixing the seal with date and signature on the first page of the office copy of the final report.

Justice G.R. Swaminathan directed that if such receipt was not given by the court clerk, the Investigating Officer shall report to the Superintendent of Police within 24 hours and the SP shall bring this to the notice of the Principal District and Sessions Judge for remedial action.

The court observed that Section 25 (6) of the Criminal Rules of Practice, 2019 mandates that whenever the final report is filed, even if it is defective, it shall not be returned for any reason whatsoever. If this mandate is breached, the same also shall be brought to the notice of the SP by the Investigating Officer concerned.

The court passed the direction after the Inspector General of Police, South Zone, Asra Garg, submitted before the court that in most of the Magistrate courts functioning in the Southern districts, e-filing system was not in place. Even if the e-filing system was in place, the police were forced to depend on the court clerks for generation of e-number.

The court said the fact remains that usually the final reports are filed physically before the jurisdictional courts. The submission of IG, South Zone, is that if the court clerk concerned is directed to give acknowledgement after receiving the final report, then, much of the issues would stand resolved.

The court was hearing a contempt petition. Earlier, the court had disposed of a petition after taking into account the submission made by a government advocate that a final report was filed before a judicial magistrate. The petitioner’s counsel had applied for the issuance of the certified copy of the final report. However, his application was returned with an endorsement that the final report was not filed.

Coming across a series of such petitions, the court suo motu impleaded IG, South Zone, and sought his assistance in the case.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 10:36:02 am |