The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed that all FIRs involving cognizable offences must be uploaded on state police websites within 24 hours of their registration.
The court, however, exempted FIRs related to sensitive cases involving sexual offences or insurgency and terrorism.
The court said that in the absence of an official website of the state police, the FIRs would be uploaded on the website of state governments.
A bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice C. Nagappan said that if net connectivity was not available, the FIRs could be uploaded within 48 hours of their registration.
The directions, following a plea by the Youth Bar Association of India, are largely on the lines of the directions passed by the Delhi High Court earlier with some modifications.
However, the time period was extended to 72 hours in the geographical location where net availability is weak.
The bench said this as counsel for Sikkin, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir sought relaxation in terms of time.
The counsel for Odisha told the court that such uploading of FIRs would be taken advantage of by the accused and they would flee the jurisdiction of the police where they have been booked.
At this Justice Nagappan said: “You don’t want the accused to know about the FIR. You want to hide it from him. Always your police machinery is colluding.”
In case the police decide to hold back the uploading of the FIR, the decision would be taken at the level of Superintendent of Police or police officer of equivalent rank recording the reasons.
The court said the list of sensitive cases was illustrative and not exhaustive.
The court clarified that any delay in the uploading of the FIRs could not be taken advantage of by the accused before the trial court.
“The directions for uploading of FIR in the website of all the States shall be given effect from 15th November, 2016”, the bench said directing that the copy of its order be sent to all the Home Secretaries and the Directors General of Police of the states concerned.