Chhattisgarh High Court: Sanjay K. Agrawal J. dismissed the petition based on settled position of law.
The facts of the case are such that the respondents 5 to 12 and investigate the matter against them through Special Investigation team. Hence, The question for consideration is whether a writ of mandamus should be issued under Article 226 of the Constitution of India directing the jurisdictional police to register an offence under Section 154(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code i.e. CrPC in a petition filed stating that despite informing the police about the commission of offence, FIR is not being registered against the concerned persons?
The Court thus relied on various judgments to discuss the issue at detail.
1. Lalita Kumari v. Government of U.P., (2014) 2 SCC 1 wherein it was held that
120.1 Registration of FIR is mandatory under section 154 of the Code, if the information discloses commission of a cognizable offence and no preliminary inquiry is permissible in such a situation.
120.2 If the information received does not disclose a cognizable offence but indicates the necessity for an inquiry, a preliminary inquiry may be conducted only to ascertain whether cognizable offence is disclosed or not.
120.3 If the inquiry discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, the FIR must be registered. In cases where preliminary inquiry ends in closing the complaint, a copy of the entry of such closure must be supplied to the first informant forthwith and not later than one week. It must disclose reasons in brief for closing the complaint and not proceeding further.
120.4 The police officer cannot avoid his duty of registering offence if cognizable offence is disclosed. Action must be taken against erring officers who do not register the FIR if information received by him discloses a cognizable offence.
120.5 The scope of preliminary inquiry is not to verify the veracity or otherwise of the information received but only to ascertain whether the information reveals any cognizable offence.
120.6 As to what type and in which cases preliminary inquiry is to be conducted will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. The category of cases in which preliminary inquiry may be made are as under:
- a) Matrimonial disputes/family disputes
- b) Commercial offences
- c) Medical negligence cases
- d) Corruption cases
- e) Cases where there is abnormal delay/laches in initiating criminal prosecution, for example, over 3 months delay in reporting the matter without satisfactorily explaining the reasons for delay.
The aforesaid are only illustrations and not exhaustive of all conditions which may warrant preliminary inquiry.”
2. Sakiri Vasu v. State of U.P., (2008) 2 SCC 409 wherein it was held that if a person is aggrieved that his FIR has not been registered by the police or having been registered, proper investigation is not done, the remedy available to the aggrieved person lies to approach the Judicial Magistrate under Section 156(3) of the CrPC, and observed as under: –
“25. We have elaborated on the above matter because we often find that when someone has a grievance that his FIR has not been registered at the police station and/ or a proper investigation is not being done by the police, he rushes to the High Court to file a writ petition or a petition under section 482, Criminal Procedure Code. We are of the opinion that the High Court should not encourage this practice and should ordinarily refuse to interfere in such matters, and relegate the petitioner to his alternating remedy, firstly under section 154(3) and section 36, Criminal Procedure Code before the concerned police officers, and if that is of no avail, by approaching the concerned Magistrate under section 156(3).
- If a person has a grievance that his FIR has not been registered by the police station his first remedy is to approach the Superintendent of Police under section 154(3), Criminal Procedure Code or other police officer referred to in section 36, Criminal Procedure Code. If despite approaching the Superintendent of Police or the officer referred to in section 36 his grievance still persists, then he can approach a Magistrate under section 156(3), Criminal Procedure Code instead of rushing to the High Court by way of a writ petition or a petition under section 482, Criminal Procedure Code. Moreover, he has a further remedy of filing a criminal complaint under section 200, Criminal Procedure Code. Why then should writ petitions or section 482 petitions be entertained when there are so many alternative remedies?”
3. Sudhir Bhaskarrao Tambe v. Hemant Yashwant Dhage, (2016) 6 SCC 277 wherein it was held that
“2. This Court has held in Sakiri Vasu v. State of U.P., that if a person has a grievance that his FIR has not been registered by the police, or having been registered, proper investigation is not being done, then the remedy of the aggrieved person is not to go to the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, but to approach the Magistrate concerned under Section 156(3) CrPC. If such an application under Section 156(3) CrPC is made and the Magistrate is, prima facie, satisfied, he can direct the FIR to be registered, or if it has already been registered, he can direct proper investigation to be done which includes in his discretion, if he deems it necessary, recommending change of the investigating officer, so that a proper investigation is done in the matter. We have said this in Sakiri Vasu case because what we have found in this country is that the High Courts have been flooded with writ petitions praying for registration of the first information report or praying for a proper investigation.
- We are of the opinion that if the High Courts entertain such writ petitions, then they will be flooded with such writ petitions and will not be able to do any other work except dealing with such writ petitions. Hence, we have held that the complainant must avail of his alternate remedy to approach the Magistrate concerned under Section 156(3) CrPC and if he does so, the Magistrate will ensure, if prima facie he is satisfied, registration of the first information report and also ensure a proper investigation in the matter, and he can also monitor the investigation.”
4. Shweta Bhadoria v. State of M.P., 2017 (I) MPJR 247, wherein it was held that if FIR is not registered on the basis of complaint which discloses a cognizable offence, remedy available to the aggrieved person is to take recourse to the provisions under Sections 154(3), 156(3), 190 and 200 of the CrPC, and observed as under: –
“6. Before parting the conclusion arrived at based on the above discussion and analysis is delineated below for ready reference and convenience:-
(1) Writ of mandamus to compel the police to perform its statutory duty u/s 154 Cr.P.C. can be denied to the informant/victim for non-availing of alternative remedy u/Ss. 154(3), 156 (3), 190 and 200 Cr.P.C., unless the four exceptions enumerated in decision of Apex Court in the case of Whirlpool Corporation v. Registrar of Trade Marks, Mumbai and Ors., (1998) 8 SCC 1, come to rescue of the informant/victim.
(2) The verdict of Apex Court in the case of Lalita Kumari v. Government of U.P. & Ors. reported in (2014) 2 SCC 1 does not pertain to issue of entitlement to writ of mandamus for 2017 (I) MPJR 247 compelling the police to perform statutory duty under Section 154 Cr.P.C. without availing alternative remedy under Sections 154(3), 156(3), 190 and 200 Cr.P.C.
(3) Subject to (1) supra the informant/victim after furnishing first information regarding cognizable offence does not become functus officio for seeking writ of mandamus for compelling the police authorities to perform their statutory duty under Section 154 Cr.P.C. in case the FIR is not lodged.
(4) Subject to (1) supra the proposed accused against whom the first information of commission of cognizable offence is made, is not a necessary party to be impleaded in a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India seeking issuance of writ of mandamus to compel the police to perform their statutory duty under Section 154 Cr.P.C. ”
The Court thus held that considering the nature of dispute between the parties and nature of allegation, it would not be expedient to direct Respondents No.1 to 4 to register FIR against Respondents 5 to 12. It was held that the petitioner is at liberty to file complaint under Section 156(3) or complaint under Section 200 of the CrPC.
In view of the above, petition was dismissed.[Abhishek Jain v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2020 SCC OnLine Chh 808, decided on 02-12-2020]
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