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Naman Singh and Ors. Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh and Ors. - (Supreme Court) (13 Dec 2018)

Registration of FIR on directions of Sub-Divisional Magistrate is impermissible in law



The Appellants are aggrieved by the denial to quash the criminal prosecution against them under Sections 420, 406, 467, 468, 471, 504, 506, 34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC). Learned Counsel for the Appellants submits that, no objection certificate has been obtained from the Chatrapati Sahuji Maharaj University, Kanpur for establishment of the three-year Law course. Affiliation has also been granted by the University. The Appellants have also deposited a sum of Rs. 3,50,000 with the Bar Council of India and await permission from it for starting the law course. The question of any fraudulent misrepresentation by the Appellants, persuading students to take admission in an unauthorised institution simply does not arise.

Respondent No. 4 lodged a complaint with the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, that, she had been duped into taking admission in an unrecognised institution. The Sub-Divisional Magistrate, the very same day, without furthermore, directed the police to register a first information report. The only question for consideration is whether the Sub-Divisional Magistrate was competent to do so, and whether such an F.I.R. can be said to have been registered in accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC).

Section 154 of the CrPC provides for registration of a first information report at the instance of an informant, reduced into writing and signed by the person giving it. Section 154(3) stipulates that in the event of a refusal on part of an officer in charge of a police station to record such information, it may be sent in writing and by post to the Superintendent of Police who will direct investigation into the same.

Section 190 of the CrPC provides for taking of cognizance by a Magistrate either on a complaint or upon a police report. Similarly, Section 156(3) provides that, any Magistrate empowered under Section 190 may order such an investigation, and which also includes the power to direct the lodgement of an F.I.R. Section 200 of CrPC provides for lodging of a complaint before the Magistrate, who after examination of the complainant and witnesses, if any, can take cognizance.

It is therefore apparent that, in the scheme of the Code, an Executive Magistrate has no role to play in directing the police to register an F.I.R. on basis of a private complaint lodged before him. If a complaint is lodged before the Executive Magistrate regarding an issue over which he has administrative jurisdiction, and the Magistrate proceeds to hold an administrative inquiry, it may be possible for him to lodge an F.I.R. himself in the matter. In such a case, entirely different considerations would arise. A reading of the F.I.R. reveals that the police has registered the F.I.R. on directions of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate which was clearly impermissible in the law. The Sub-Divisional Magistrate does not exercise powers under Section 156(3) of the CrPC. The very institution of the F.I.R. in the manner done is contrary to the law and without jurisdiction.

Nothing prevented Respondent No. 4 from lodging an F.I.R. herself before the police under Section 154 of the CrPC or proceeding under Section 154(3) if circumstances so warranted. Alternately, the Respondent could have moved the Magistrate concerned under Section 156(3) of the CrPC in the event of the refusal of the police to act. Remedy was also available to the Respondent by filing a complaint under Section 200 of the CrPC before the jurisdictional Magistrate. Any application by Respondent No. 4 hitherto under the CrPC will therefore have to be considered by the appropriate authority or forum in accordance with law. The impugned order is set aside. Appeal allowed.


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