Saturday, February 9, 2019

Registration Of FIR Is Mandatory - SC Guidelines On Lalita Kumari Case

The question whether it is obligatory for the police to register FIR on information given by an informant has been answered in the affirmative by the five-member Bench in Lalita Kumari v. Govt. of U.P. It has been categorically ruled that the provisions of Section 154(1) CrPC is mandatory and the officer concerned is duty bound to register the case on the basis of information disclosing commission of cognizable offence. In other words, it is a mandatory provision.

The SC issued the following Guidelines regarding the registration of FIR.

▪️ If the information discloses commission of a cognizable offence and no initial or preliminary inquiry is permissible in such a situation - Registration of First Information Report (FIR) is mandatory under Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

▪️ If the facts or information obtained does not disclose a cognizable offence, but indicates the requirement for an inquiry, an initial inquiry can only be conducted to ascertain whether the cognizable offence is disclosed or not. 

▪️ If the investigation discloses the commission of a cognizable offense, then the FIR should be lodged. In cases where the initial investigation of the closure of the complaint ends, a copy of the submission of such closure should be given to the informant first and not later than one week. The reasons for closing the complaint and not moving forward should be briefly explained.

▪️ The police officer can not escape his duty of registering the offence when the cognizable offence is exposed. Action should be taken against officials who do not  register FIR if they receive information which Disclose a cognizable offence.

▪️ The scope of initial inquiry is not to verify the truth or otherwise of the information Received but only to ascertain whether the information reveals a cognizable offence. 

▪️ Depending on what type and in which case the initial inquiry is to be done will depend on facts and circumstances of each case. Category of cases where initial or preliminary inquiry can be conducted are as follows:
(a) Marital dispute / family dispute
(b) Commercial Offense
(c) Matters of medical negligence
(d) Cases of corruption
(e) cases where there is unusual delay in initiating criminal prosecution.

▪️ In the case of ensuring and protecting the rights of the accused and the complainant, the initial inquiry should be timed and in any cases it should not be more than 7 days. The fact of such delay and its reasons (causes) should be reflected in the General Diary Entry. 

▪️ Since the General Diary / Station Diary is a record of all information received in the police station, we direct that all information related to cognizable offence, whether that result for registration of FIR or leading to an inquiry, must be mandatorily and carefully reflected in the above diary and the decision to conduct a initial inquiry must also be reflected, as mentioned over.


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