In a bizarre turn of events, a Metropolitan Magistrate's Court at Bandra, Mumbai has recalled its order directing issuance of a certified copy of the FIR registered against political analyst Ramnik Singh Mann on his application.
Ramnik Mann had received a notice under Section 41(A) of CrPC in August, 2021 stating that an FIR has been registered against him at the Cyber Police Station, Crime Branch, Mumbai under Sections 153A, 505(2), 500 and 501 IPC for "uploading Objectionable/Abusive material on Twitter.com".
Twitter had permanently suspended his account for violation of Twitter Rules.
He filed an application for a certified copy of the FIR before the Magistrate's Court through his Lawyer Kaushik M. Mhatre, citing that he required the same for filing an anticipatory bail application. His application was allowed. However, by an order dated 20th September, the Court recalled its own order stating that the application was inadvertently allowed.
The order states as follows:-
"The present application was inadvertently allowed. The Investigating Officer Smt. Savita Shinde, while sending the copy of the F.I.R. approached this court and requested that the matter is sensitive and the contents of the F.I.R. and the name of the persons connected shall not be made public. Therefore, the copy of the F.I.R. sent by the Investigating Officer is already kept in confidential record. Its contents reflect that certified copy can not be issued directly without consulting Investigating Officer as there is possibility of disclosure of certain confidential information and adverse impact on the investigation."
The order further states that, "Thus, it can be inferred that he is apprehending arrest and the information can not be disclosed as its connection with the alleged act can not be ruled out".
While withdrawing its order and rejecting the application filed by Mann, the Court directed Mann to approach the Investigating Officer, "who may decide the application as per law".
As per the 2016 Judgment of the Supreme Court in the matter of Youth Bar Association of India vs. Union of India, an accused is entitled to get a certified copy of the First Information Report from the police within twenty-four hours of application. Moreover, the Supreme Court has also held that, "Once the First Information Report is forwarded by the police station to the concerned Magistrate or any Special Judge, on an application being filed for certified copy on behalf of the accused, the same shall be given by the Court concerned within two working days."