FIR registration procedure-initiate contempt proceeding against police

SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS
WRIT PETITION (CRL.) NO.68 OF 2008  (For Prel. Hearing)

LALITA KUMARI                             Petitioner(s)

VERSUSGOVT.OF U.P.& ORS.                         Respondent(s)(With appln(s) for exemption from filing O.T.)Date: 14/07/2008 This Petition was called on for hearing today.

CORAM :   HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE B.N. AGRAWAL ,  HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE G.S. SINGHVI

For Petitioner(s)         Mr. Pranesh,Adv.              Ms. Mona Rajvanshi,Adv.For Respondent(s)

UPON hearing counsel the Court made the following ORDER Exemption allowed.

Heard learned counsel appearing on behalf of the etitioner.

The grievance in the present writ petition is that the occurrence had taken place in the month of May and, in that very month, on 11th          May, 2008, the written report was submitted by the petitioner before the Officer In-charge of the concerned Police Station, who sat tight over the matter. Thereafter, when the Superintendent of Police was 2-moved, a First Information Report (for short “F.I.R.”) was registered.

Even thereafter, steps were not taken either for apprehending theaccused or recovery of the minor girl child. It is a matter of experienceof one of us (B.N. Agrawal, J.) while acting as Judge of Patna HighCourt, Chief Justice of Orissa High Court and Judge of this Court that in spite of law laid down by this Court, the concerned police authoritiesdo not register F.I.Rs unless some direction is given by the Chief Judicial Magistrate or the High Court or this Court. Further experience shows that even after orders are passed by the concerned courts forregistration of the case, the police does not take the necessary steps andwhen matters are brought to the notice of the Inspecting Judges of the High Court during the course of inspection of Courts and Superintendents of Police are taken to task, then only F.I.Rs areregistered. In large number of cases investigations do not commence even after registration of F.I.Rs and in case like the present one, stepsare not taken for recovery of the kidnapped person or apprehending theaccused person with reasonable despatch. At times it has been found
that when harsh orders are passed by the Members of the Judiciary in aState, the police becomes hostile to them for instance in Bihar when abail petition filed by a police personnel, who was accused was rejected by a member of Bihar Superior Judicial Service, he was assaulted in theCourt room for which contempt proceeding was initiated by Patna HighCourt and the erring police officials were convicted and sentenced to suffer imprisonment.

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On the other hand, there are innumerable cases that where thecomplainant is a practical person, F.I.Rs are registered immediately,copies thereof are made over to the complainant on the same day,investigation proceeds with supersonic jet speed, immediate steps aretaken for apprehending the accused and recovery of the kidnappedpersons and the properties which were subject matter of theft or dacoity. In the case before us allegations have been made that theStation House Officer of the concerned Police Station is pressurising thecomplainant to withdraw the complaint, which, if true, is a verydisturbing state of affairs. We do not know there may be innumerable such instances.

In view of the above, we feel that it is high time to give directionsto Governments of all the States and Union Territories besides theirDirector Generals of Police/Commissioners of Police as the case may be

to the effect that if steps are not taken for registration of F.I.Rsimmediately and copies thereof are not made over to the complainants,they may move the concerned Magistrates by filing complaint petitions

to give direction to the police to register case immediately uponreceipt/production of copy of the orders and make over copy of theF.I.Rs    to   the   complainants,       within   twenty    four   hours    of receipt/production of copy of such orders. It may further give directionto take immediate steps for apprehending the accused persons andrecovery of kidnapped/abducted persons and properties which weresubject matter of theft or dacoity. In case F.I.Rs are not registered within the aforementioned time, and/or aforementioned steps are not taken by the police, the concernedMagistrate would be justified in initiating contempt proceeding againstsuch delinquent officers and punish them for violation of its orders if no sufficient cause is shown and awarding stringent punishment like sentence of imprisonment against them inasmuch as the DisciplinaryAuthority would be quite justified in initiating departmental proceedingand suspending them in contemplation of the same.

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Keeping in mind these facts, we are of the view that notices should be issued to Government of all the States and Union Territoriesbesides Director Generals of Police/Commissioners of Police as the casemay be.

Issue notice to the Chief Secretaries of all the States and Union Territories and the Director Generals of Police/Commissioners of Police,as the case may be, to show cause as to why aforesaid directions be notgiven by this Court.        Notices may be sent to the parties by Fax and it should be mentioned therein that the order has been put on the Website of theSupreme Court of India so that they may file response without loss oftime.

Let the Registry place this order on the Website immediately on receipt of the file so that the concerned authorities know about the sameand that the      person concerned may file response within the timegranted hereunder .

Three weeks’ time is allowed to file response.

Place this matter on 8th August, 2008.
[ Alka Dudeja ]
[ Om Prakash ]

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