ABC Address To, Name of the Police Station, Address: Complaint against: Subject: Please Register FIR or NC as facts of the case indicate Respected Police Officer, With this letter I request you to register my complaint either in the form of FIR or NC as my incident suggests, having regard to laws of the land. (Write down the whole incident which led to the filing of this complaint.) ALSO, I RESPECTFULLY BRING TO YOUR NOTICE THE – (A) LAW WITH RESPECT TO COMPULSORY REGISTRATION OF FIR DISCLOSING COMMISSION OF COGNIZABLE OFFENCE (I) “In BOMBAY(Criminal) 08/10/2008 (J-R) APPW/271/2007, a full bench judgment of the Bombay High Court had laid down that cops should register the FIR against the accused person within two days of being informed of commission of any cognizable offence.” The comprehensive judgment, among other things, says that, the law inescapably requires the police officer to register the information received by him in relation to commission of a cognizable offence. Under the scheme of the CrPC, no choice is vested in the police officer between recording or not recording the information received. This Judgment of Bombay High Court or Judgments of any High Court can be used in any Court in India. (II) In Writ Petition (CRL) no 68 of 2008 (Latika Kumar vs. Govt of UP & Others). On 14th July 2008 , Justice BN Agarwal and Justice GS Singhvi " directed, “We feel that it is high time to give directions to Governments of all the States and Union Territories besides their Director 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.Rs immediately 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 upon receipt/production of copy of the orders and make over copy of the F.I.Rs to the complainants, within twenty four hours of receipt/production of copy of such orders. It may further give direction to take immediate steps for apprehending the accused persons and recovery of kidnapped/abducted persons and properties which were subject 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 concerned Magistrate would be justified in initiating contempt proceeding against such 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 Disciplinary Authority would be quite justified in initiating departmental proceeding and suspending them in contemplation of the same.” (III) The officer concerned is duty bound to register the case on the basis of information disclosing cognizable offence. Ramesh Kumari versus State (NCT of Delhi) (2006) 1 SCC (Cri) 678 at pg 682. (IV) What is of significance is that the information given must disclose the commission of an cognizable offence and the information so lodged must provide a basis for the police officer to suspect the commission of an cognizable offence, and that the Police officer must be convinced or satisfied that a cognizable offence has been committed. If he has reasons to suspect, on the basis of info received, that a cognizable offence may have been committed, he is bound to record the information and conduct an investigation. CBI versus Tapan Kumar Singh (2003) 6 SCC 175 at page 183-184. (V) In section 154(1) the word information does not qualify with the word reasonable or credible. State of Haryana versus Bhajan Lal 1992 SCC (Cr) 426. In this case the HC had quashed the FIR. The SC set aside the HC order and held as follows – At the stage of registration of a crime or a case on the basis of the information disclosing a cognizable offence, the Police officer concerned cannot embark upon an enquiry as to whether the information laid by the informant is reliable and genuine or otherwise refuse to register a case on the ground that the information is not reliable or credible. Reasonableness or credibility of the said information in not a condition precedent for registration of a case. Also – Gurmito versus State of Punjab 1996 CrLJ 1254 at page 1258 (P & H); Ranbir Yadav versus State of Bihar 1995 CrLJ 2665 at page 2678 (SC). (VI) Police officer has no option but to register the case if the information discloses the commission of an cognizable offence. Lallan Choudhary versus State of Bihar (2007) 1 SCC (Cr) at page 686. (VII) Even when the information is against the Police officials, including the Sub- inspector’s own higher officials, it is the duty of the officer in charge of the police station to register the case. A Nallasivan versus State of Tamilnadu 1995 CrLJ 2754 at page 2760 (Mad) (B) LAW WITH RESPECT TO PLACE OF REGISTRATION OF FIR If it is an cognizable offence, the officer in charge of the police station to whom information about the offence is given, has a statutory duty to reduce it to writing and get the signature of the informant. The Officer in charge has no escape from doing so whether or not such offence was committed within the limits of that police station. The officer in charge can transmit the FIR to the police station having such territorial jurisdiction. Navinchandra N Majithia versus State of Meghalaya 2000 SCC (Cri) 1510 at page 1513-14. (C) LAW WITH RESPECT TO LANGUAGE OF FIR Article 350 OF CONSTITUTION OF INDIA – Every person shall be entitled to submit a representation for the redress of any grievance to any officer or authority of the Union or a State in any of the languages used in the Union or in the State, as the case may be. (D) LAW WITH RESPECT TO FORM OF RECORDING COMPLAINT BY CITIZEN / PERSON (I) A telephonic message can also be a FIR provided it discloses the particulars required by section 154 of CrPC about the commission of a cognizable offence. S G Gundegowda versus State 1996 CrLJ 852 at page 861 (Kant) (II) FIR in the form of Letter Complaint – T T Anthony versus State of Kerala, AIR 2001 SC 2637 – if a detailed complaint is made to the Police in writing, narrating facts constituting cognizable offence, such a letter should be taken by Police as the FIR. (E) IN THIS REGARD, I ALSO THOUGHT IT FIT TO INFORM YOU ABOUT ONE OF MANY SUPREME COURT JUDGMENTS ABOUT INSTITUTION OF BOTH CIVIL AND CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS IN COMMERCIAL / NON COMMERCIAL TRANSACTIONS. The Hon'ble Supreme Court has extensively dealt with the issue which involves both Civil and Criminal remedies. In M/s. Indian Oil Corporation v. M/s. NEPC India Ltd. and Ors., 2006 (6) Supreme 66 : AIR 2006 SC 2780, in which the Apex Court has formulated various guidelines, after referring to its earlier decision. "A given set of facts may make out: (a) purely a civil wrong; or (b) purely a criminal offence; or (c) a civil wrong as also a criminal offence. A commercial transaction or a contractual dispute, apart from furnishing a cause of action for seeking remedy in civil law, may also involve a criminal offence. As the nature and scope of a civil proceeding are different from a criminal proceeding, the mere fact that the complaint relates to a commercial transaction or breach of contract, for which a civil remedy is available or has been availed, is not by itself a ground to quash the criminal proceedings. The test is whether the allegations in the complaint disclose a criminal offence or not." (F) CONSEQUENCES THAT MAY ENSUE FOR NOT REGISTERING FIR DISCLOSING COGNIZABLE OFFENCE (I) The complainant has come to know where if Police do not register FIR then he may commits offence under section 217 or if he incorrectly frame FIR/NC, it is an offence u/s 218 of IPC. SECTION 217 OF INDIAN PENAL CODE declares that when a Public Servant, in the discharge of his official duty, acting contrary to law, knowingly conduct himself in such a manner, thereby knowing that his act will-- (a) save a person from any legal punishment or to secure lesser punishment for that person to which he is liable for; (b) save a property from forfeiture or charge to which that property is liable to, commits offence under this section. SECTION 218 OF INDIAN PENAL CODE declares that when a Public Servant, in the discharge of his official duty, who has been charged with the duty of preparation of any Record or any Writing, knowingly prepares incorrectly such record or writing, with the knowledge that by preparing such incorrect Record or Writing he will cause (a) loss or injury to Public or to any person (b) save a person from any legal punishment or to secure lesser punishment for that person to which he is liable for; (c) save a property from forfeiture or charge to which that property is liable to, commits offence under this section. (II) The modern legal system provides that as soon as an offence is committed, the Criminal Law is set into motion, irrespective of the wishes of the injured party. Police Willful disregard in discharge of his duties may constitutes a Criminal Contempt Of Court: The process of administration of justice begins with the committing of an offence by a person, well before any FIR is filed OR case is registered in the court. (III) Contempt proceedings may be initiated if Police refuses to register FIR. In the case of Lalitha Kumari versus Govt of UP (2008) 3 SCC (Cri) 17 at page 19- that if steps are not taken for registration of FIR immediately and copies thereof are not made available to the complainants, they may move the magistrate concerned by filing complaint petition to give direction to the police to register the case immediately, failing which the Magistrate concerned may initiate contempt proceedings against the delinquent police officer. (G) PROCEDURE AFTER REGISTRATION OF FIR (I) A copy of Every FIR so registered by Police must be sent to respective Judicial/ Metropolitan Magistrate within 24 hours so that it cannot be tempered with. (II) After the registration of FIR, the Police conduct an investigation under chapter XII of the code. The police are empowered to perform several acts including to take statements of witnesses u/s 161 of the code; to conduct searches and seizures u/s 100, 165 and 102 of the code; to call for the production of documents and other things u/s 91 of the code; require the attendance of witnesses u/s 160 of the code. (III) In Joginder Kumar Vs State Of UP – 1994, the Hon’ble SC has held that - “No arrest can be made because it is lawful for the police officer to do so. The existence of the power to arrest is one thing. The justification for the exercise of it is quite another. The police officer must be able to justify the arrest apart from his power to do so. Arrest and detention in police lock-up of a person can cause incalculable harm to the reputation and self-esteem of a person. No arrest can be made in a routine manner on a mere allegation of commission of an offence made against a person. It would be prudent for a police officer in the interest of protection of the constitutional rights of a citizen and perhaps in his own interest that no arrest should be made without a reasonable satisfaction reached after some investigation as to the genuineness and bona fides of a complaint and a reasonable belief both as to the person’s complicity and even so as to the need to effect arrest. Thanking you, Xyz.
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