A charge sheet is a preparation document of accusation prepared by law-enforcement agencies in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is distinct from FIR. First information report (FIR) is the core document which describes a crime that has been committed. Charge sheet usually refers to one or more FIRs and charges an individual or organisation for the crimes specified in those FIRs. One the charge sheet has been submitted to a court of law; it decides as to who among the accused has sufficient prima facie evidence against him to be put on the trial. Prima facie evidence is a legal term used to mean that you have enough evidence to prove something by pointing to some basic facts, but that your proof can be refuted.
Section 173 of Criminal Procedure Code deals with the provisions related to charge sheet which forms a relevant part of the procedural law which represents all the details related to name of the complainant, the accused and the victim, any witness, items or article seized, date, time and place of occurrence of the crime, the name of the investigating officer, the medical reports, the FIR number, true finding of the case diary, etc.
Charge Sheet consists four parts, namely;
1. Information about the accused and the witnesses
2. The charges and specifications
3. The preferring of charges and their referral to summary
4. For the trial record
Difference between FIR and Charge Sheet
FIR is a report prepared by the police, after it comes to know about a criminal offence in its jurisdiction whereas charge sheet is report drafted by the police and submitted in judicial court, listing out the various laws violated by the accused and how the violation was detected. FIR begins a police investigation to a crime and a charge sheet comes to an end of the investigation. A charge sheet is submitted to the court so that it can be used in the trial and judges can decide whether accused is guilty or not.
J. P. Singh v. State of Andhra Pradesh (1963 CriLJ 108)
Bandi Kotayya v. State and Ors (AIR 1966 AP 377, 1966 CriLJ 1377)
Image Source: Indian Institute of Legal Studies