When Second FIR of Same Incident is permissible? Supreme Court Judgment

The Supreme Court in the case of Surendra Kaushik and Other vs State of U.P. and Others (Criminal Appeal No. 305 of 2013) considered the issue of filing a second FIR for the same incident.

An Appeal was preferred against the Judgment of Allahabad High Court declining to interfere in a FIR quashing petition. The ground of challenging the FIR before the Allahabad High Court were two fold. Firstly, prima facie the FIR does not disclose the cognizable offence and secondly, the second FIR cannot be registered for the same incidence.

The Allahabad High Court decided the Petition on the basis of the first ground of challenge, but left the second ground of challenge while considering the Petition.

As per the facts of the case firstly an FIR was registered alleging filing of forged and fabricated documents before the Registrar Societies, thereafter for the same incident an application was filed under 156(3) CrPC and on the direction of Magistrate a second FIR  was lodged by different complainant but related to same set of facts.

Sri Nagendra Rai, Senior Advocate submitted that in view of Judgments of Supreme Court in the case of State of Haryana and others v. Bhajan Lal and others reported in 1992 Suppl (1) SCC 335, T.T. Antony v. State of Kerala and

Others reported in (2001) 6 SCC 181, Pandurang Chandrakant Mhatre and

others v. State of Maharashtra reported in (2009) 10 SCC773 and Babubhai v.

State of Gujarat and others reported in (2010) 12 SCC 254, second FIR for the same incidence is impermissible.

Mr Altaf Ahmed appearing for the respondents submitted that at certain occasions same set of facts may constitute different offences and when there are two distinct offences having different ingredients, there would be no embargo for registration of two FIRs. Further if restricted view is taken then no counter FIR can ever be lodged.

A Division Bench of Justice K.S Radhakrishnan and Justice Dipak Mishra referred to the Judgments cited by the respective counsels, observed:

it is quite luminous that the lodgment of two FIRs is not permissible in respect of one and the same incident. The concept of sameness has been given a restricted meaning. It does not encompass filing of a counter FIR relating to the same or connected cognizable offence. What is prohibited is any further complaint by the same complainant and others against the same accused subsequent to the registration of the case under the Code, for an investigation in that regard would have already commenced and allowing registration of further complaint would amount to an improvement of the facts mentioned in the original complaint. As is further made clear by the three-Judge Bench in Upkar Singh (supra), the prohibition does not cover the allegations made by the accused in the first FIR alleging a different version of the same incident. 

Thus, rival versions in respect of the same incident do take different shapes and in that event, lodgment of two FIRs is permissible.

In view of the above stated principle, the Court found that the facts of the case does fall within the four corners of second FIR principle, therefore the Appeal was dismissed.

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