If You Are Unable To Procure Your FIR Copy Online; Now File RTI To Get It within 48 Hours!
Time and again, the judiciary, the central information commission (CIC) and, in some cases, even the director general of police (DGP) have ordered that first information reports (FIRs) should be made transparent by uploading them on police websites and providing copies if citizens demand them.
 
However, citizens continue to fight for this right through the Right to Information (RTI) Act as, many a time, the police do not upload FIRs on their websites or provide information even if RTI is invoked.
 
Just before the lock-down in 2020, the Maharashtra DGP had issued a circular to all police stations of the state, stating, “It has been brought to the notice of the state information commissioner (SICs) that applications filed under the RTI that seek information about registered cases are summarily dismissed, with the only reason given being that the information cannot be revealed as it is an ongoing investigation. Police officers have been observed to refuse or avoid giving information using this reason.” 
 
However, he added in the circular, information should be disseminated based on the merit of each case to ensure that the RTI application to procure such information is not 'frivolous'—whatever that means!
 
Some of the states are adhering to the Section 4 suo motu disclosures to enable citizens to procure FIR copies online. If you go to the Maharashtra police website, you can follow this link https://citizen.mahapolice.gov.in/Citizen/MH/PublishedFIRs.aspx and write details of your FIR to procure an online copy. Similarly, Kerala police too have this facility for which you need to go to this link  https://thuna.keralapolice.gov.in/
 
However, here's good news for RTI applicants who are not able to procure the FIR copy online, but can now demand it within 48 hours from the relevant police station, thanks to a recent order. Otherwise, the public information officer (PIO) has the right to take 30 days to provide a copy of the FIR (if he does so, that is) if you seek this information under Section 6 of the RTI Act. If he denies information, you have to appeal to the first appellate authority (FAA) and then second appeal to the information commissioner where there is high likelihood of inordinate delays.
 
Recently, Rahul Singh, SIC of Madhya Pradesh (MP), has applied Section 7 of the RTI Act and directed the MP police to make a copy of FIR available within 48 hours of the RTI query.  
 
As per this Section, “…where the information sought for concerns the life or liberty of a person, the same shall be provided within forty eight hours of the receipt of the request.”
 
Mr Singh’s order on FIR pertained to a second appeal related to FIR in Balaghat district of MP. RTI applicant Leela Baghel had enquired about six FIRs through an RTI application but the Balaghat police, citing impediment of investigation under Section 8 (1) h of RTI Act, denied the information.
 
Mr Singh, in his order, warned that Rs25,000 fine or disciplinary action would be taken against police officers who deliberately withheld information about the FIR. He clarifies that FIRs related to sensitive nature of offences and those barred under Section 8 of RTI Act should be kept out of the purview of RTI.
 

 

Comments
Free Helpline
Legal Credit
Feedback