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Saturday, February 22, 2020

‘Somewhere in those thick files is the case diary’

A special court in Kanpur Dehat that was supposed to pronounce the verdict in the Behmai massacre case, in which 20 people were killed allegedly by Phoolan Devi’s gang in 1981, recently postponed the matter after a complainant advocate said the case diary was missing

Written by Avaneesh Mishra | Published: January 26, 2020 1:28:56 am
Raju Porwal, District Government Counsel (Crime), Kanpur Dehat

Raju Porwal, District Government Counsel (Crime), Kanpur Dehat

1. What is a case diary?

After an FIR is registered, several documents are prepared — a general diary of the FIR, medical reports or post-mortem reports collected by the investigating officer (IO), papers such as the map of the site and recovery memo of evidence made by the IO. Later, based on the findings, the IO submits either a final report or a chargesheet. This entire process related to a particular case is compiled in a case diary. Earlier, case diaries were handwritten, but now we do it online.

2. At what stage is a case diary submitted to court?

It is submitted along with the chargesheet and other documents. Once the judge takes cognisance of it, the documents are in judicial records. The prosecutor can then receive the case diary from the court. The defending side, however, cannot get a copy and gets only those documents and witness statements which the IO is taking into consideration.

3. Can’t photocopies of a case diary be used?

The Behmai case is around 39 years old and the record is in several volumes. In general, photocopies can be used as old paper starts tearing if handled too often. We keep such documents wrapped, and the same was done in this case too.

4. Does loss of the case diary impact a case?

In this case, the trial has concluded and the arguments on both sides are over. If a case diary goes missing at an initial stage, the IO can be told to reconstruct it with the copy available at the police station.

5. How many documents are being sifted through to find the Behmai case diary?

This is a case in which 35-36 people were named. Then matter went to the High Court and Supreme Court. Because of all this there are a number of thick files and somewhere in those files we have the original case diary.

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