Recently, The Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh HC ruled that the registration of cross FIRs is permissible when there are different versions of two parties with regard to same occurrence.
The bench of Justice Rajnesh Oswal was dealing with the case where the petitioner had filed an application under section 156(3) CrPC for registration of FIR under sections 323, 341, 420, 409, 452, 506 and 109 IPC read with section 3/25 Arms Act against the respondent Nos. 3 to 6 before the Court of Duty Magistrate, Kishtwar.
The Munsiff JMIC, Kishtwar forwarded the complaint under section 156(3) Cr.P.C. to SHO, Kishtwar to register the FIR under relevant provisions of law.
In this case, Notice was issued to respondent No. 2 in the aforesaid contempt petition and the respondent No. 2 filed the status report wherein it was stated that one FIR stands already registered prior to the filing of the complaint by the petitioner under section 156(3) Cr.P.C. and in the said FIR, the son of the complainant, namely, Suhail Ahmed was the accused.
The Munsiff (JMIC), Kishtwar vide order dated 09.02.2021, dropped the contempt proceedings with the observations that there cannot be two FIRs for the same cause/occurrence except counter FIRs and the grievance of the petitioner by no stretch of the imagination is justified as the FIR is already in place and investigation is going on.
The petitioner has assailed the order dated 09.02.2021 on the ground that the Magistrate has failed to appreciate that the allegations levelled by the petitioner are altogether different vis-a-vis the FIR registered against the son of the petitioner in which the complainant is Ashiq Hussain-respondent No. 5.
The bench stated that there cannot be two FIRs with regard to the same occurrence but there may be different versions of two parties with regard to the same occurrence and in such type of cases, registration of cross FIRs is permissible.
High Court observed that the respondent Nos. 5 and 6 started shouting by using filthy and unparliamentary language and caught hold of his son and started beating him mercilessly and respondent Nos. 5 and 6 told the petitioner that they had been directed to get possession of the land forcefully and illegally by respondent Nos. 3 and 4. Though there were no allegations regarding the commission of any offence by respondent Nos. 3 and 4 who were posted as Naib Tehsildar, Kishtwar and Patwari Halqa Pochhal respectively, but still the Magistrate directed the registration of FIR against respondent Nos. 3 and 4.
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The bench noted that be that as it may, the course adopted by the Magistrate while dropping the contempt proceedings vide order with the observation that FIR is already in place and investigation is going on, is not correct. There may be one version of the complainant and the other by the accused and in such type of situation, the registration of cross FIR is permissible.
High Court opined that it cannot be said that in the instant case, the registration of FIR on the application of the petitioner would amount to the registration of second FIR regarding the same offence. The same would be a cross FIR and the registration of the same is not impermissible under law.
In view of the above, the bench set aside the observations made by the Magistrate in the order that the grievance of the petitioner cannot be considered as justified as FIR was already registered.
Case Title: Abdul Rashid v. Union Territory of J&K and others
Bench: Justice Rajnesh Oswal
Case No.: CRM(M) No. 238/2021(O&M)
Counsel for the appellant: Mr. Zulkar Nain Sheikh
Counsel for the respondent: Mr. Sandeep Gupta and Mr. M. Y. Akhnoon