Lalita Kumari v. Govt. of U.P [W.P.(Crl) No; 68/2008]
Lalita kumari, a minor, filed a writ in the Supreme Court through her father. The primary issue was that when the daughter went missing, the father had submitted a missing report in Ghaziabad’s police station in 2008. The Uttar Pradesh police failed to locate his daughter and subsequently the police officer refused to register a FIR under section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Due to the conflicting decisions of the courts w.r.t. mandatory registration of FIR, led the constitutional bench of the Supreme Court to take up the matter.
- Upon receiving an information with respect to the commission of a cognizable offence (section 154 CrPC), is police officer bound to register a FIR?
- Can the Police officer conduct preliminary inquiry to ensure the genuineness of such claim before registering the FIR?
- The intent of the lawmakers is shown in the word ‘Shall’ in section 154(1) of the CrPC which clearly indicates that it is mandatory for the police officer to register a FIR with respect to cognizable offence. If the given information clearly indicates the commission of a cognizable offence, then no preliminary inquiry is allowed. On the other hand, if an information doesn’t clearly indicate the commission of a cognizable offence, then to ascertain whether the information relates to cognizable offence, a preliminary inquiry can be made.
- Such preliminary inquiry must be completed within 7 days and the record of all the information must be recorded in the General Diary that is maintained in the police station.
- In few cases i.e. Matrimonial disputes or family disputes, Commercial offences, Corruption cases, Medical Negligence cases the preliminary inquiry may be conducted.