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When police refuses to register an FIR?


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When the criminal offence has been committed, the complainant should ordinarily first avail of his remedy of filing an FIR in the Police Station under section 154 (1) of CrPC. Under section 154 the information relating to the commission of the cognizable offence can be given to an officer in charge of the police station. Further, if the officer in charge of police station refuses to record the information in writing then lodge the complaint to the Superintendent of Police in writing by post under section 154 (3). Thus, the station house officer refuses to register a complaint then the alternative remedy is Superintendent of Police under section 154 (3), but what if both the concerning authority refuses to register the FIR.

If the Station House Officer as well as the Superintendent of Police refuses to register the FIR, or having registered it, do not hold proper investigation, the complainant then has a third alternative remedy to file an application under section 156 (3) CrPC before the concerned Magistrate. On receiving such a complaint the Magistrate may direct registration of FIR and/or proper investigation to impart justice in the alleged offence, and he can, in that case, also monitor the investigation.[1]

In Priyanka Srivastava[2], the Supreme Court issued guidelines to the Magistrate for dealing with a petition under section 156 (3) CrPC. If a victim is in remote corner of the state and the police refused to register the FIR, he need not have to come to High Court to file application under section 482 CrPC to invoke the jurisdiction of the High Court. The justice have to be served to the victim by the nearest Magistrate under section 156 (3)  CrPC. There is no need to lodge the complaint under section 156 (3) CrPC in the manner of petition/plaint to the Magistrate. A written application in either of the language will serve the cause. The affidavit so attached, ass said in Priyanka case, can be formal form affixing the necessary Court fees stamp.

Read: The Police cannot refuse to register FIR

Similar relief can be availed through Legal Service Authority Act, 1987, under which, a viable mechanism for providing access to justice to anyone in need of it, has been put in place. In every Taluk in the state, a judicial officer, in the rank of civil Judge or Senior Civil Judge (Munsif cadre/Sub-Judge Cadre) has been appointed as the chairman of the Taluk Legal Service Committee. Likewise, in every district, a judicial officer in the rank of Senior Civil Judge (Principle Sub Judge) has been appointed as the District Legal Service Authority. Under Article 144 of the constitution of India, it is the duty of these authorities also to act in aid of the Supreme Court and therefore, they should also ensure that the mandate of Lalita Kumari[3] IV-V are implemented. Any person who is aggrieved by refusal of the Police to register an FIR on his complaint or issue a CSR receipt, can approach the local Legal Service Authority and being approached, the Legal Service Authority shall entertain the complaint and ensure the implementation of the directions of the Supreme Court in Laslita Kumari IV and V.

Also, when the fair and impartial trial has not been conducted in the case, or the appellant has prove of manifest illegality in the investigation conducted under section 173 CrPC, the appellant has alternative remedy to approach the Magistrate. The Magistrate has ample of power to supervise and even monitor the investigation.[4] The Supreme Court further stated in Sakiri Case that the magistrate, under section 156 (3) CrPC can check on the police performing their duties and where the Magistrate finds that the police have not done their duty or has not investigated the case properly, the magistrate can direct the Police to carry out the investigation properly and can monitor the same.

[1] Devarapalli v. Narayana, AIR 1976 SC 1672; Madhu bala v. Suresh Kumar, AIR 1977 SC 3104

[2] Priyanka Srivastava & Anr v. State of U.P. & Ors AIR 2015

[3] Lalita Kumari v. State of U.P., AIR 2013 4 SCC 1 [W.P. No. 68/2008]

[4] Sakiri Vasu v. State of U.P. and ors 2008 (1) RCR (Cr) 392 (SC)


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