//Police can't refuse to register an FIR, rules Supreme Court

Police can't refuse to register an FIR, rules Supreme Court

Genuineness or otherwise of the information can be considered only after registration of the complaint

  • "A police officer should mandatorily register a case"
  • "The police should not pre-judge the issue"
  • NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has held that the police cannot refuse to register a first information report (FIR) doubting the credibility or genuineness of a complaint.

    Justices H. K. Sema and A. R. Lakshmanan made it clear that the "genuineness or otherwise of the information can only be considered after [the] registration of the case. Genuineness or credibility of the information is not a condition precedent for registration of a case."

    Quoting an earlier decision, they said a police officer should register a case on a complaint of a cognisable offence and the police could not pre-judge the issue.

    "At the stage of registration of a crime or a case on the basis of information disclosing an offence, a police officer cannot embark upon an enquiry whether the information is reliable or not," the Bench said.

    The police would have no other option than registering a complaint.

    Ramesh Kumari, who filed a complaint with the police in September 1997, alleged that no FIR was registered. The petitioner moved the High Court but it dismissed the plea on the ground that a contempt petition had been filed.

    Against this, the petitioner moved the Supreme Court.

    The Supreme Court in its judgment said: "The High Court erred in law in dismissing the petition solely on the ground that a contempt petition was pending, and the appellant had an alternative remedy. The ground of alternative remedy, nor pending of the contempt petition, would be no substitute in law not to register a case when a citizen makes a complaint of a cognisable offence against the police officer."

    Since the complaint was against a police officer, the interests of justice would be better served by ordering a probe into the complaint by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

    The Supreme Court directed the CBI to register a case and complete the probe in three months.

    It also asked the High Court to dispose of the contempt petition speedily.