Karnataka High Court: A Division Bench of S. Sunil Dutt Yadav and P. Krishna Bhat, JJ., emphasized on the importance of jurisdictional police to register FIR and conduct further investigation of the case.

The facts of the case are such that the instant writ petition was filed in the nature of Habeus Corpus under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, praying to issue a writ or order or direction for production of her son Suresh who was unlawfully taken away by SHO, Gogi Police Station i.e Respondent 3 in the instant case.

On the notice by the Court, Suresh was produced before the Court on 03-11-2020 and it was admitted by Respondent 3 that the petitioner Tarabhai had approached him in the police station with a grievance that her son had been abducted and thereafter he was not found. Inspite of Respondent 3 being conscious that the incident reported was cognizable in nature he did not register an FIR.

Counsel representing the defaulting respondent 3 submitted that a lenient view must be taken for the said violation of the procedure notwithstanding the serious implications for the liberty of Suresh and that his client is prepared to file an undertaking to do some community service to atone for the same.

The Court observed that the entire development in the case after Suresh going missing discloses to us a very disturbing facet of the functioning of the police stations in this area in the state. The Court further observed that the problem primarily is one of police officers not complying with the procedure prescribed under the Code of Criminal Procedure, which places a high premium on the guarantee of liberty of the individuals.

The Court thus held that if the facts disclosed to Respondent 3 amounted to an offence taking place within the limits of his police station, then he should have proceeded with the investigation of the case and if the offence disclosed took place outside the jurisdiction, then he was obliged to transfer the FIR to the jurisdictional police station for further investigation of the case. The Court further stated that Respondent 3 has overlooked the mandate of law in as much as he has not made an entry in the Station House diary regarding the substance of the petitioner and her son Suresh.

The Court directed the respondent 3 to comply with the undertaking by cleaning the front of his police station for a period of one week and further directed the Superintendent of Police, Kalaburagi District to hold a Workshop/ Orientation course to all the police officers working within the Kalaburagi District on the subject of “Zero FIR” and other provisions under the CrPC, 1973 pertaining to registration of FIR and investigation of cases.

In view of the above, and Suresh being produced before the Court, writ petition was disposed off.[Tarabai v. The State of Karnataka,  2020 SCC OnLine Kar 2286, decided on 17-12-2020]

Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

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