22 Aug 2022 6:00 AM GMT
The Madras High Court, while emphasizing that FIR is not an ordinary thing and could affect the rights of the individual, heavily criticised the order of a Magistrate directing registration of FIR against an accused, without due application of mind. Justice N Satish Kumar was hearing an appeal filed by the Inspector of Police, Vadapalani Police Station against the order...
The Madras High Court, while emphasizing that FIR is not an ordinary thing and could affect the rights of the individual, heavily criticised the order of a Magistrate directing registration of FIR against an accused, without due application of mind.
Justice N Satish Kumar was hearing an appeal filed by the Inspector of Police, Vadapalani Police Station against the order of Saidapet Metropolitan Magistrate directing the SHO, Virugambakkam Police Station to register an FIR. The court observed as under:
A Magistrate cannot act as a Post Office and direct for registration of FIR. Registering FIR is not an ordinary thing. It will affect the rights of the individual and even some times, it will destroy the career of the people. Normally, the Magistrates would direct the police to file a report on the basis of the complaint filed under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. whereas, in this case, the learned Metropolitan Magistrate has straight away directed the Station House Officer, R-5 Virugambakkam Police Station, to file FIR which itself clearly indicates that he has not applied his mind.
The crux of the case was that the de facto complainant, third respondent, who was a lawyer was travelling along with her husband during Covid-19 restrictions. The police authorities intercepted them. When altercation ensued, the de facto complainant's husband was charged with offence under Section 75 of the Tamil Nadu City Police Act 1888 and was released on station bail.
Later in the night, both the de facto complainant and her husband were admitted in the hospital pretending to have sustained injuries. A complaint was given at Virugambakkam Police Station claiming that the de facto complainant's husband was seriously injured due to the attack of the petitioners but it was not taken on file. A complaint was then given to the Commissioner of Police who found that the complaint was motivated and exaggerated and hence, closed the same. A private complaint was then made to the Metropolitan Magistrate, Saidapet, who by order directed the Virugambakkam Police Station to register the FIR.
The petitioner contended that the entire complaint was motivated and filed to seek revenge. He also submitted that the Magistrate did not have any territorial jurisdiction and that the order was mechanically passed without any application of mind. He also challenged the genuineness of the medical certificates produced. He further submitted that since at the time of occurrence, the petitioner was on official duty, prior sanction was required. He thus sought for quashing the order.
The de facto complainant contended that the question of obtaining sanction did not arise as the alleged offence was not connected with the official duty.
The court, after perusing the medical records observed that they were merely prescriptions to Paracetamol, Rantac and Votamin tablets and there was no iota of evidence to show that the de facto complainant or her husband had suffered any injury, abrasion or contusion. Thus, the order was passed without even considering the documents produced.
The learned Magistrate without even having a glance of the document, has mechanically passed the order directing to register FIR. If the Magistrate had applied his mind correctly by taking the well settled legal provision of law, such direction would have not been given to register FIR.
The court also noted that there was a lack of jurisdiction. Since the alleged occurrence took place within the limits of the Vadapalani Police Station, there was no necessity to give a complaint at the Virugambakkam Police Station. Further, the Saidapet Metropolitan Magistrate Court also does not have any jurisdiction over the Vadapalani area.
If the allegations are true and if the defacto complainant wanted to prosecute the person who alleged to have attacked them, she should have filed such complaint only before the Court which is having territorial jurisdiction but, it was not done so.
The court noted that the above facts would clearly reveal that the private complaint was initiated only for seeking vengeance against the police authorities. Even assuming that the allegations made were true, at the time of occurrence, the petitioner was discharging his official duty and hence there must have been a prior sanction to proceed against such officer. The court thus noted as under:
Therefore, this Court finds that the criminal proceeding has been maliciously instituted by the defacto complainant and her husband to wreck vengeance against the officer who proceeded against them previously. Hence, this Court can very well interfere by exercising its power under Section 482 Cr.P.C..
As a result, the court allowed the petition filed by the Inspector and quashed the order passed by Saidapet Metropolitan Magistrate. Consequently, the private complaint was also quashed.
Case Title: Praveen Rajesh v. Commissioner of Police and others
Case No: Crl OP No 8708 of 2022
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 363
Counsel for the Petitioner: Mr.N.Ramesh
Counsel for the Respondent: Mr.Leonard Arul Joseph Selvam Government Advocate (Crl. Side) (R1-R2), Mr.M.Marimahesh (R3)
Click here to read/download the judgment