SUPREME COURT HOLDS THAT AN EXECUTIVE MAGISTRATE CANNOT DIRECT POLICE TO REGISTER FIRST INFORMATION REPORT WITHOUT COMPLAINANT FOLLOWING PRELIMINARY STEPS

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The Supreme Court in the matter of Naman Singh Alias Naman Pratap Singh and Another vs State of Uttar Pradesh passed an order on 13th December 2018, has held that an Executive Magistrate cannot direct Police to register a First Information Report (FIR).

In this case, a student had lodged a complaint with the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, that she had been conned by an institute into taking admission in an unrecognized institute. The Executive magistrate, on the same day, directed the police to register a FIR and thus an FIR was registered.

The Bench herein questioned whether the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, has the authority to direct the police to register an FIR for a private complaint filed before the Magistrate and such an FIR if registered, is it in accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr Pc), 1973 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Code’)

The Bench while disposing the Judgement considered the following Sections and points:

Section 154 of the Code provides powers to the police to register the FIR and at the instance of the informer reduce it down to writing and getting is signed by the person reporting the FIR.

Section 154(3) of the Code states that, in case an officer refuses to register an FIR then, the person can send his/her complaint in writing by post to the Superintendent of Police who will direct the further proceedings on receiving of such complaint.

Section 156(3) of the Code gives powers to the Magistrate under Section 190 of the Code to order or direct the police to register or lodge an FIR.

The Bench further said, that if the complaint has been filed with the Executive Magistrate within its administrative jurisdiction and if the Magistrate continues to hold an administrative inquiry, then it may be possible for the Magistrate to register an FIR in the matter at his discretion.

The Bench quashing the FIR added, the Student could have herself exercised her powers of lodging an FIR under Section 154 of the Code, or under Section 154(3), or could have moved to the Magistrate under Section 156(3) or, could have filed a complaint under Section 200 of the Code before the jurisdictional Magistrate.

The Supreme Court quashing the FIR, held that an Executive Magistrate does not have authority to direct the police to register the FIR in the first instance. The complainant has to follow the steps that is file a complaint before the police and in the event that the police fails to take action, to approach higher authorities such as Superintendent of Police and in the failure of registration of FIR then and only then can approach the Magistrate for lodging of an FIR.

Suchit Patel

Associate

The Indian Lawyer

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