Police not accepting complaints and not registering FIR, what are the other options
Police is not recording FIR
Some times the Police may be reluctant to record information given to the Police, for one reason or the other. But as per the Judgment of a Constitution Bench of Supreme Court of India in Lalita Kumari v. Govt of UP (2013) SC (5J), the Police Officers are bound to Register FIR upon receiving information of commission of a cognizable offence in India. The important issue which arises for consideration in the referred matter was whether "a police officer is bound to register a First Information Report (FIR) upon receiving any information relating to commission of a cognizable offence under Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (in short "the Code") or the police officer has the power to conduct a "preliminary inquiry" in order to test the veracity of such information before registering the same?. The Bench after analysing the history of provisions related to FIR observed that the legislative intent in both old codes and the new code manifests for compulsory registration of FIR in a case of cognizable offence without conducting any Preliminary Inquiry.
Even though some times the Police may not be recording FIR on information given by you. In such situations the complainant may chose the following other remedies.
1. Forward your Complaint to Senior Police Officer
If the Police is refusing to record FIR on the information given by you, the complaint may send to the Senior Police officers like Commissioner of Police, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), or Senior Superintendent of Police SSP) under section 154 (3) of CRPC. If satisfied that such information discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, the officer shall either investigate the case himself or direct an investigation to be made by any police officer subordinate to him, in the manner provided by this Code, and such officer shall have all the powers of an officer in charge of the police station in relation to that offence.
2. File Complaint before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM)
or Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM)
If the Police refuses to register FIR, the aggrieved person may approach the Court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate or Chief Judicial Magistrate at the Concerned district. The Magistrate may assign complaint to the concerned Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial Magistrate. When the matter would come up in before the concerned Magistrate, the Magistrate may proceed with the complaint for enquiry. The Magistrate may also order investigation by the Police under Section 156(3) and Section 202 of CRPC.
Consequent upon such an order by the Court for investigation, police has to register a case by recording of FIR in the manner indicated above. Police cannot refuse to register a case, when complaint is so sent to police for investigation.
Sometimes, only an application under section 156(3) CrPC is filed before the Court seeking directions to the police for registration of case. There are cases where along with the criminal complaint, such an application is separately filed seeking directions to the police for registration of case. In such cases, Magistrate may allow the prayer and issue directions to the police under section 156(3) of CrPC for registration of FIR. The Magistrate may even disallow such a prayer and while taking cognizance of the offence list the complaint for recording of pre-summoning evidence of complainant so as to enquire into the matter himself, without referring the matter to police for investigation.
Recent Judgment of Supreme Court of India regarding
Registration of FIR
In a Judgment in February 2016 a Supreme Court Bench comprising of Justices M. Y. Eqbal and Shiva Kirti Singh reiterated that Registration of FIR is mandatory when a Magistrate orders investigation U/S 156(3) of CrPC. The Court explained that registration of an F.I.R. involves only the process of recording the substance of information relating to commission of any cognizable offence in a book kept by the officer in charge of the concerned police station. In paragraph 11 of the aforementioned case, the law was further elucidated by pointing out that to enable the police to start investigation, it is open to the Magistrate to direct the police to register an F.I.R. and even where a Magistrate does not do so in explicit words but directs for investigation under Section 156(3) of the Code, the police should register an F.I.R. Because Section 156 falls within chapter XII of the Code which deals with powers of the police officers to investigate offences, the police officer concerned would always be in a better position to take further steps contemplated in Chapter XII once F.I.R. is registered in respect of the concerned cognizable offence.
Power under section 156(3) of CRPC is exercisable at
pre-cognizance stage. In other words, in the case of complaint
regarding the commission of a cognizable offence, the power
under section 156(3) can be invoked by the Magistrate before
taking cognizance of the offence under Section 190(1)(a).
An order made under section 156(3) is in the nature of peremptory reminder or intimation to the police to exercise their plenary powers of investigation under section 156(1) of CrPC. Such an investigation embraces the entire continuous process which begins with the collection of evidence under section 156 and ends with a report or charge-sheet.
The Supreme Court of India in Subhkaran Luharkuka vs. State (Government of NCT of Delhi), 2010 (3) JCC 1972, has laid down certain guidelines for the Magistrate while dealing with application under Section 156(3) of CrPC.
"Of course, it is open to the Magistrate to proceed under Chapter XII of the Code when an application under Section 156(3) of the Code is also filed along with a complaint under Section 200 of the Code if the Magistrate decides not to take cognizance of the complaint. However, in that case, the Magistrate, before passing, any order to proceed under Chapter XII, should only satisfy himself about the pre-requisites as aforesaid, but, additionally, he should also be satisfied that it is necessary to direct Police investigation in the matter for collection of evidence which is neither in the possession of the complainant nor can be produced by the witnesses on being summoned by the Court at the instance of complainant, and the matter is such which calls for investigation by a State agency.
The Magistrate must pass an order giving cogent reasons as to why he intends to proceed under Chapter XII instead of Chapter XV of the Code."
As explained above, the Magistrate is required to furnish cogent reasons in the order dealing with application under section 156(3) of CrPC.
Important Case Laws, Citations of Supreme Court, High Court and District Courts
Indian Penal Code (IPC)
Important Case Laws, Citations