Maintenance of Case Records by Bengal Police

Under Bengal Police regulation 1943 

1101. Preservation of records and registers. –

(a) All papers connected with the investigation of cases (e.g., First Information Report, case diaries, statements under section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, documentary exhibits, lists of property, final memo., and other miscellaneous connected papers) which do not form part of a judicial report, shall be kept together and preserved as below:-
(i) In all cases in which the accused has absconded.

Until the Magistrate orders their destruction on the ground that there is no further reasonable hope of arrest.

(ii) In non-bailable cases declared true by Magistrates but not tried out, and under sections 109 and 110, of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Fourteen years, provided that in cases under sections 454, 455, 456, 457, 379, 380 and 381 of the Indian Penal Code, in which no person has been reasonably suspected, the records shall be preserved for three years only.

(iii) In all other cases (bailable or not, tried out or not) and cases under sections 108, 107, 144 and 145 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Three years, provided that in all cases of a professional nature under Chapter XVII of the Indian Penal Code, professional and political murder and murder of informers, professional swindling, coining, note forgery and attempts thereof in which a person though not convicted is found or reasonably suspected to be concerned and in all cases of dacoity, conspiracy for dacoity and cases under sections 400 and 401, Indian Penal Code, the records shall be preserved for 14 years.

(b) The periods for which all other papers and registers, reports and returns are to be preserved will be found in Appendix XIII. If for any special reason, the officer-in-charge of the police-station or the Inspector considers that a particular record should be preserved for a longer period than as noted above, he shall recommend accordingly.

(c) On receipt of the final memo, the papers in connection with a case (e.g., duplicates of final form, chargesheet, First Information Report, case diaries, etc.) shall be filed together with a docket slip showing what papers the file contains. The year in which the file is to be destroyed shall be noted on it conspicuously in red ink.

(d) The Inspector while inspecting the police-station shall note in the last column of the khatian register the period for which the record of each particular case shall be preserved.

(e) Records of cases in which there are absconders shall be distinguished by noting “A” in red ink conspicuously in the last column of the khatian register and also .on the docket slip of the file of the case.

(f) At the close of each year separate bundles shall be made up of-

(i) Papers relating to absconders.

(ii) Those to be kept for fourteen years.

(iii) Those to be kept for three years.

(g) In January each year the officer-in-charge of the police-station shall examine the records and entries in the last column of the khatian and prepare a list of records and registers due for destruction and submit the same to the Inspector who, after satisfying himself of its correctness by a personal inspection at the police-station, shall pass orders in accordance with the Appendix XIII(8). On receipt of his orders the papers shall be burnt or destroyed.

(h) A list of registers to be deposited in the Magistrate’s record-room shall also at the same time be prepared to enable the Superintendent to check them and arrange for their despatch to the record room on the 1st of July.

(i) A list of cases in which accused persons have been absconding for more than five years shall also be prepared and submitted to the Superintendent, who will forward it to the Magistrate with his remarks as to whether the records concerned should still be preserved.

(j) The fact that the records have been destroyed shall be noted in the khatian register against the cases concerned.

(k) No record shall be removed from the police-station without a slip being left in its place to show where it has gone.

1102. Destruction of records. –

(a) The periods for which records are to be preserved are laid down in Appendices XIII and LXIII. The destruction of records and the transmission of those to be preserved to the Magistrate’s record room shall be taken up in May each year. The head clerk shall examine the bundles of English correspondence and extract such as are due for destruction. The head clerk and the Reserve officer or the Reserve Office Inspector where such a post exists shall report what registers and other records they have for destruction and orders will be passed on their reports by the Superintendent. Orders for the destruction of records of Circle Inspectors’ offices, police-stations and Court offices shall be passed by the Circle Inspector or the Court Inspector, as the case may be, at the time of inspection; in accordance with Appendix XIII (7), (8) and (5). Circle Inspectors, Court, Reserve and station officers and head clerks shall at the same time submit to the Superintendent for orders a list of registers and records to be deposited in the Magistrate’s record-room.
(b) All papers to be sent to the Magistrate’s record room will be despatched there on the 1st of July of each year, a complete list of such being sent to the record clerk through the Magistrate one month beforehand so as to enable him to make arrangements for their reception. If the Superintendent subsequently wants any of these records for reference he shall apply to the Magistrate.

(c) Records to be destroyed shall be burnt in the presence of a responsible officer.

1103. Arrangement of records of cases.

– As soon as a case has been disposed of, all the case diaries and other papers connected with it shall be sent by the Circle Inspector to the Superintendent’s office where First Information Reports, Circle Inspector’s progress memos., final memos, from Court and case diaries shall be filed in order, month by month, for each station separately, all the papers of each case being strung together. The clerk-in-charge shall separate these records into two monthly bundles, one containing chargesheet cases and the other containing cases which have not been investigated or in which final reports have been submitted. A flyleaf in B. P. Form No. 205 shall be attached to the papers of each of the chargesheet cases, the number of years for which the papers are to be preserved in the record room being clearly stamped on it. No fly-sheet need be attached to the papers of other cases but a list should be prepared in which the number of years for which the records are to be preserved shall be noted. The number of years shall always be the largest number for which any paper in the file is to be preserved, e.g., if there are papers in the file which by different interpretation of the rules for the preservation and destruction of records, may be kept three or fourteen years, the figure on the fly-leaf, or in the list, should be fourteen. These bundles shall be neatly labelled and registered for transmission to the Magistrate’s record-room at the end of June of the following year