Rajasthan DGP recently ordered the preparation of a charge sheet against the accused in the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl.
About Charge Sheet
- According to Section 173 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), a charge sheet is a report generated by police officers after investigating a case.
- It contains all the stringent records right from the commencement of investigation procedure of lodging an FIR to till the completion of investigation and preparation of final report.
- It contains the names of the people brought in the custody, the charges they are brought in for and the identity of the accusers.
- Once the charge sheet has been submitted to a court of law, prosecution proceedings against the accused begin.
Time limit for filing a Charge Sheet
- It is to be filed within 60 days from the date of arrest of the accused in cases triable by lower courts and 90 days in cases triable by Court of Sessions.
- If the charge sheet is not filed within the prescribed time mentioned above, the accused has a right to default bail.
- A charge sheet is distinct from the First Information Report (FIR).
What is the First Information Report (FIR)?
- It is a written document prepared by a Police officer based on information given by an aggrieved person or any other person either in writing or made orally about the commission of a Cognizable Offence.
- Investigation is started only after filing of the FIR.
- Who can file an FIR? Anyone can file a FIR, whether it is the victim, victim’s family or friends, or any witness to a crime.
- An FIR can only be lodged in case of cognizable offences.
What is a Cognizable Offence?
- It is one in which the police may arrest a person without warrant.
- The police are authorized to start investigation into a cognizable case on their own and do not require any orders from the court to do so.
Q1) What is a default bail?
Also known as statutory bail, this is a right to bail that accrues when the police fail to complete investigation within a specified period in respect of a person in judicial custody. This is enshrined in Section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) where it is not possible for the police to complete an investigation in 24 hours, the police produce the suspect in court and seek orders for either police or judicial custody.