Sunday, 27 December 2015

Whether Magistrate can reject application for certified copy of ordersheet?

 I have examined Section 327 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure along with Rule 142 of the Criminal Manual and these
provisions clearly lay down that criminal court is an open court for
the purpose of inquiring into any matter or trying any offence and
public generally has an access to it. Provided that in any particular
case, the Magistrate or the Judge may direct that public in general
or any particular person may not be present in the Court or the
case falls in other sub-sections of Section 327 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure. Rule 377 of the Criminal Manual lays down
that the parties to any proceeding can apply for obtaining certified
copy of any judgment, order, deposition, memorandum of evidence
or any other document filed in the said proceedings. It further says
that the application for certified copy must state the purpose for
which it is required whether for private use or otherwise.
Therefore, the law is clear that an accused person or litigant has a
right to obtain certified copy from the Court which is having the
custody of the record. The expression ‘roznama’ (order-sheet) has
not been specifically mentioned but it would be covered by the
expression ‘order sheet’ as mentioned in Rule 377 of the Criminal
Manual and therefore, an accused person or a litigant is entitled to
apply for copy of the order-sheet (roznama) which has to be
provided by the Judge or the Magistrate as the case may be.
Though it has not come on record but assuming that in an
application for certified copy it has not been stated that it is
required for private use or otherwise, even then the Magistrate can
direct the person who has applied for certified copy of the order to

correct the application or he can reject the application with liberty
to apply for a fresh certified copy of the order after clearly
mentioning therein that copy applied for is for private use or
otherwise, but straightway without any liberty to the applicant the
application for certified copy of the order-sheet (roznama) cannot
be rejected. Therefore, the order of the Magistrate cannot be
sustained.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT AT AHMEDABAD
SPECIAL CRIMINAL APPLICATION (QUASHING) NO. 2321 of 2013

OMPRAKASH RAMESHWARUPDAS AGGRAWAL....Applicant(s)
Versus
STATE OF GUJARAT & 1....Respondent(s)

CORAM: HONOURABLE THE ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE MR.
VIJAY MANOHAR SAHAI
Citation;2015 CRLJ(NOC)496 Guj

1. I have heard Ms.Nita Pandit, learned advocate for
Mr.A.R.Gupta, learned advocate for the petitioner and Mr.Mitesh
Amin, learned Public Prosecutor for the respondent.
2. The grievance of the petitioner in this petition is that
the petitioner has applied for a certified copy of the order-sheet
(roznama) of the case and the application of the petitioner was
rejected by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Court
No.9 at Ahmedabad on the ground that as per Criminal Manual
Para No.377, the certified copy of the order-sheet (rozanama) of
the case cannot provided to the litigants. The order dated
01.06.2013 passed by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate
in Criminal Case No.4818 of 1997 has been challenged by the
petitioner in this petition.
3. It will be profitable to extract Section 327 of the Code
of Criminal Procedure, 1973, which reads as under:
“Section 327. Court to be open.-[(1)] The
place in which any criminal court is held for the
purpose of inquiring into or trying any offence
shall be deemed to be an open court to which
the public generally may have access, so far as
the same can conveniently contain them:
Provided that the presiding Judge or
Magistrate may, if he thinks fit, order at any
stage of any inquiry into, or trial of, any
particular case, that the public generally, or
any particular person, shall not have access to,
or be or remain in, the room or building used
by the Court.
[(2)] Notwithstanding anything contained in
sub-section (1), the inquiry into and trial of
rape or an offence under section 376, section

376A, section 376B, section 376C [section
376D or section 376E of the Indian Penal Code
(45 of 1860)] shall be conducted in camera:
Provided that the presiding Judge may, if he
thinks fit, or on an application made by either
of the parties, allow any particular person to
have access to, or be or remain in, the room or
building used by the Court:]
[Provided further that in camera trial shall be
conducted as far as practicable by a woman
Judge or Magistrate.]
[(3) where any proceedings are held under subsection
(2), it shall not be lawful for any person
to print or publish any matter in relation to any
such proceedings, except with the previous
permission of the Court:]
[Provided that the ban on printing or
publication of trial proceedings in relation to an
offence of rape may be lifted, subject to
maintaining confidentiality of name and
address of the parties.]”
It would also be useful to reproduce Rules 142 and 377
of the Criminal Manual as below:
“Rule 142. (1) The attention of all the Judges
and Magistrate is invited to Section 327,
Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, which provides
that public should have access to, or remain in
the room or building used by a Court, except
when the presiding Judge or Magistrate thinks
it fit to exclude either the public generally or
any particular person, in any particular case.
(2) In cases relating to sexual offences, the
Court should, while keeping in view the
principle of administering justice openly,
consider the advisability of excluding persons
unconnected with the case from the Court
room during the trial and in particular, when
evidence to be given pertains to indecent
details.”
“Rule 377. Parties to any proceeding may, on

application on the prescribed Court fee made
to the Court having the custody of the record,
obtain certified copies of any judgment, order,
deposition, memorandum of evidence or any
other document filed in the said proceedings.
The application shall state whether the copy
applied for is required for private use or
otherwise.”
4. I have examined Section 327 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure along with Rule 142 of the Criminal Manual and these
provisions clearly lay down that criminal court is an open court for
the purpose of inquiring into any matter or trying any offence and
public generally has an access to it. Provided that in any particular
case, the Magistrate or the Judge may direct that public in general
or any particular person may not be present in the Court or the
case falls in other sub-sections of Section 327 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure. Rule 377 of the Criminal Manual lays down
that the parties to any proceeding can apply for obtaining certified
copy of any judgment, order, deposition, memorandum of evidence
or any other document filed in the said proceedings. It further says
that the application for certified copy must state the purpose for
which it is required whether for private use or otherwise.
Therefore, the law is clear that an accused person or litigant has a
right to obtain certified copy from the Court which is having the
custody of the record. The expression ‘roznama’ (order-sheet) has
not been specifically mentioned but it would be covered by the
expression ‘order sheet’ as mentioned in Rule 377 of the Criminal
Manual and therefore, an accused person or a litigant is entitled to
apply for copy of the order-sheet (roznama) which has to be
provided by the Judge or the Magistrate as the case may be.
Though it has not come on record but assuming that in an
application for certified copy it has not been stated that it is
required for private use or otherwise, even then the Magistrate can
direct the person who has applied for certified copy of the order to

correct the application or he can reject the application with liberty
to apply for a fresh certified copy of the order after clearly
mentioning therein that copy applied for is for private use or
otherwise, but straightway without any liberty to the applicant the
application for certified copy of the order-sheet (roznama) cannot
be rejected. Therefore, the order of the Magistrate cannot be
sustained.
5. For the aforesaid reasons, this petition succeeds and is
allowed. The order dated 01.06.2013 passed by the Additional
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Ahmedabad in Criminal Case No.
4818 of 1997 is hereby quashed and set aside. A certified copy of
the order-sheet (roznama) shall be provided to the petitioner
within a period of one week from the date of receipt of a
certified copy of this order.
(V.M.SAHAI, ACJ.)

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