Bombay High Court: In a case filed by the mother of a 9-year-old minor boy, seeking quashing of the FIR for the alleged offence punishable under Section 338 of Penal Code, 1860 (IPC), a Division Bench of Revati Mohite Dere and S.M. Modak, JJ., quashed and set aside the FIR registered with the Vanrai Police Station, Mumbai, against the son and consequently, dismissed the proceeding pending before the Metropolitan Magistrate.
The original complaint stated that on 27-03-2022 at 7:30 p.m., when her parents had gone down to a podium of the society building, the petitioner’s minor son aged 9 years, lost his balance while cycling and dashed against her mother, as a result of which, she sustained an injury. Pursuant thereto, respondent 3 approached the Vanrai Police Station, Mumbai, and lodged a complaint and the said FIR was lodged on 05-04-2022, about one week after the incident.
The Court noted that the facts clearly reveal that it was nothing but an accident, which was clearly unintentional. The boy was only aged 9 years. The Court remarked that
“We are shocked and surprised that the police registered the FIR against a minor boy, at the behest of respondent 3, without having regard to the age of the boy involved.”
The police sub-inspector in his affidavit tendered an unconditional apology and stated that the said FIR was registered due to misconception of law and that it was not his intent to register an FIR against a minor child aged 9 years. He further stated that he had prepared the report under Section 2(45) of the Juvenile Act but had not taken any coercive action at any point in time.
The Court opined that misconception or ignorance of law is not an excuse, much less, for a police officer and in the peculiar facts, more so, having regard to the fact that the child was only 9 years of age which reflects complete non-application of mind by the concerned officer whilst registering the offence.
Thus, the Court quashed the FIR and directed the State Government to pay the cost of Rs. 25,000/- to the petitioner as compensation.
[AK v. State of Maharashtra, 2022 SCC OnLine Bom 4555, decided on 20-10-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Mr. Shravan Giri for the Petitioner;
Mr. J.P. Yagnik, A.P.P for the Respondent 1 & 2-State;
Mr. Viresh Purwant for the Respondent 3.
*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this report together.