The Orissa High Court has directed the state DGP to issue directions pertaining to following a uniform font size and line spacing in FIR because of the issues faced by the Court in perusal of the FIR, charge sheets and other reports.
Single Judge Bench of Justice SK Panigrahi called it a ‘serious issue’ and asked the Director General of Police (DGP), to inform all the Police Stations in the state to direct their officers to use a uniform font size of 12 in Times New Roman while preparing the charge sheet, FIR or any other reports with a line spacing of 1.5.
The DGP has also been directed by the Court of Law to file an affidavit after he follows the directions of the court and conveys the same to the concerned. He is supposed to do the same within three weeks while the matter has been listed for filing of affidavit on April 12, 2021.
The said directions were issued by the Court in a matter in which when the Petitioner placed the copy of the charge sheet before the court, that was “neither legible in open eye not visible properly because of very tiny font size of the text prepared by the Investigating Officer".
The court also noted:
"This is a regular phenomenon encountered by the prosecution, defence and the Court. Such smallest font size causes wastage of considerable time and energy of the Court while reading the same.”
The Court opined:
"In fact, presenting information in a perceptually degraded fashion is an affront to the reader of the text. The font so chosen should have a higher readability quotient. Hence, the need for appropriate font size and line spacing is very important to overcome the problem of disfluency in reading."
Along with this, the Court also mentioned how following a uniform pattern would “have a great effect on readability quotient of the text we read,” while costing almost nothing.
It lastly directed usage of legible and better handwriting as far as possible in the case of handwritten documents.
Case title - Buni @ Tunirani Pradhan & Anr. v. State of Odisha [BLAPL NO.6015 of 2020]