No Automatic Arrest on Registration of FIR, has been observed recently by the Punjab and Haryana High Court .
Court held that though under Law it is mandatory to register an FIR, if the complaint discloses a cognizable offence
but that does not mean “Automatic Arrest” of the accused.
No Automatic Arrest on Registration of FIR
The Court says that there should not be routine arrest on a mere allegation of a cognizable offence.
The Police Officer should not arrest the accused unless, after some investigation, he has reasonable satisfaction as to the bona fides of the allegations in the complaint.
Hon’ble Court observed that there is no link between Arrest and Registration of FIR. Both are two distinct concepts and operate on different parameters.
The Court, while referring to the Judgment in Lalita Kumari v. Government of Uttar Pradesh, cautioned that
misuse of the power of arrest would invite actions against such Police Officers under Section 166 of IPC.
What was the Case?
Hitesh Bhardwaj filed a Petition under Section 482 of CrPC, seeking direction to the Police to register an FIR on a criminal complaint filed by him about the murder of his mother.
He alleged that his brother had murdered his mother.
Petitioner pleaded that the Police based on some preliminary inquiry has refused to register FIR. But the Police cannot refuse to register FIR when the cognizable office is allege.
Justice Raj Mohan Singh observed that under Section 154 Cr.P.C it is mandatory to register the FIR, the complaint discloses the commission of a cognizable offence.
There is no requirement of any Preliminary Inquiry in such a situation.
A preliminary inquiry is permitted in matrimonial cases, commercial cases, corruption cases, medical negligence cases etc.
Also, in cases where there is an unreasonable delay of more than three months in approaching the Police, without any satisfactory explanation.
The Court further observed that the Police Officer does not have any discretion to refuse to register an FIR, where complaint discloses commission of a cognizable offence.
Failure to register criminal cases will bring lawlessness in society.
As such, the Court has issued a direction to Register the FIR of the Petitioner.
However the Court has clarified that in case nothing is found in Investigation, Police can request for cancellation of the FIR before the competent Court.
Title: Hitesh Bhardwaj vs State of Punjab and Others
Case No. CRM-M No.26794 of 2020 (O&M)
Coram: Hon’ble Mr. Justice Raj Mohan Singh
Date of Order: 27.10.2020