FAILURE TO FILE CHARGESHEETS IN INDIA

INTRODUCTION

Before going any further, it’s important to note that the charge sheet refers to an official police document that lists the names of each individual taken into custody, the nature of the charges against them, and the identities of the accusers.The charge sheet is the backbone of the criminal justice system because it is only after the charge sheet is filed that a criminal case goes to trial, and it is undoubtedly the police who play the most important role in filing it. It is also known as a four-part charging instrument since it comprises the following components:

  • Information about the accused and the witnesses
  • The charges and specifications;
  • The preferring of charges and their referral to a summary;
  • For the trial record.

It goes without saying that a charge sheet is not the same as the First Information Report (FIR), which is the main document that outlines a crime that has been committed. A charge sheet generally refers to one or more FIRs and accuses someone or something for some or all of the offenses listed in those FIRs (s).The significance of the charge sheet in any criminal trial may be gauged by the fact that the prosecution procedures against the accused in the legal system begin only after the charge sheet has been presented to a court of law.

A charge sheet is essentially a final report that is painstakingly created by the investigation that is done by the police or law enforcement agencies, and it is necessary for establishing the accused’s guilt in a criminal court of law.It must be admitted that a police report includes all of the strict documents that a Judge need when evaluating a case, beginning with the initial investigative method of filing a FIR and continuing until the inquiry is completed and the final report is created.

 

FAILURE IN FILING THE CHARGESHEET

In cases triable by lower courts, the charge sheet must be filed within 60 days of the accused’s arrest, and in cases triable by the Court of Sessions, it must be filed within 90 days. However, in the case of Lt Col Prasad Shrikanth Purohit, the Mumbai ATS, which arrested him in November 2008 in a highly questionable manner, did not file a charge sheet against him not for 90 days or 90 weeks, but for nine years, and five years later, when the matter was handed over to the NIA, no charge sheet had been filed against him.

In a strict sense, it is only because nothing happens to the involved guilty police officers in uniform that they take the accused’s rights for granted and keep him/her in prison for many years without being held accountable by either sending them to jail for a minimum of 14 years or ordering them to pay a large sum of money to the affected accused person in addition to dismissing them from service. At the risk of repetition, it must be stated unequivocally that all police officers who fail to submit charge sheets on time make a total mockery of the accused person’s personal liberty, which can never be justified under any circumstances.

It goes without saying that India is a “democracy nation,” not a “police country,” where the cops are in charge, and they must be held accountable if they do something wrong. They should not be permitted to flee as readily as they can.However, it must be said with great sadness that we witness cops getting away with almost whatever they do, and only in a few occasions are they held accountable for their actions.

 

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