NEWS: Kerala HC directs, Application for a Copy of Court Proceedings/Documents by a Third Party Should be Decided Considering its Purpose

By Legal Wires 3 Minutes Read

The Kerala High Court directed a Magistrate to reconsider an application made by a journalist seeking a copy of chargesheet regarding some criminal case.

Rule 226 of Kerala’s Criminal Rules of Practice which allows persons unconnected to a criminal case to access the copies of court proceedings and documents only by the assent of the court, on any such request made.

Therefore, Michael Varghese, a Journalist, had requested copies of FIR, FIS, and Chargesheet filed by the police investigating a certain crime.

Michael Varghese made an application for the same before a Court of Judicial Magistrate of First Class. He was allowed with copies of FIR and FIS of the case. However, he was denied the request for the chargesheet.

Michael Varghese claimed that the Magistrate’s order reflected the preconceived notion that strangers to a case are entitled to certified copies of proceedings or documents.

The Kerala High Court observed that the copies of these documents could be allowed only after an application with reasons which was considered by the Court. Justice Arun noted that,

“Rule 226 of the Criminal Rules of Practice stipulates that, except in the case of judgments, applications for the grant of copies of any proceedings or documents by a stranger to the proceeding shall be allowed only by order of the Court, obtained on a petition duly verified setting forth the purpose for which the copy is required.”

HC was in the opinion that the magistrate rejected the application for copy of chargesheet without considering the purpose for which the copy was filed. Therefore HC sets aside the magistrate’s order and left it open to the Magistrate to take the decision on Journalist Varghese application strictly in accordance to the Criminal Rules of Procedures.

Legal Wires

Team @LegalWires

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