FIR not to be denied under RTI - Police to publish FIRs on its website
The Maharashtra State Information Commission (SIC) has directed the Director General of Police (DGP) of Maharashtra to publish all the first information reports (FIRs) on its website, except those decided by an officer at the level of the Commissioner.
The Chief Information Commissioner at the Maharashtra SIC, Mr. Ratnakar Gaikwad, referred to orders passed by the Delhi High Court (WP (CRL) NO468/2010) and Orissa High Court while discussing the issue of suo-motu disclosure of the FIR. The SIC directed the DGP to upload FIRs from all police stations across Maharashtra on its website and submit compliance report before June 30, 2013 to the SIC.
There have been many RTI applications filed across the country seeking copies of the FIR. The PIOs have taken a differing stand some holding it as personal information the disclosure of which may hamper the investigation process.
- It will put an end to the likelihood of tampering of the FIR at a later stage.
- It would prevent a common man from harassed for obtaining a copy of the FIR.
- Demands for having a similar system in other states is likely to be raised.
The Delhi HC in order on December 6, 2010, had held that the FIRs should be uploaded online within 24 hours of its registration. The HC also held that FIRs on sensitive issues are exempt from being made public. The HC held that decision not to disclose a FIR should be taken by an officer not below the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police who shall have to inform the area magistrates. Similarly, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had given a one month time to Punjab and Haryana to start uploading the FIRs on the site.
This is a very significant order by the SIC and its implementation would be keenly watched by all across the country.