The Madhya Pradesh High Court has told a woman aggrieved by police inaction over her complaint seeking removal of an objectionable message on her Facebook page to approach the magistrate with her complaint as provided under the Criminal Procedure Code.
Justice Sheel Nagu disposed of the writ petition moved by the woman, a resident of Gwalior, who had sought removal of an objectionable message posted by another woman on her Facebook page calling her character in question.
The court said the petitioner is free to avail the remedy under sections 154(1) (informing about the cognizable offence to officer in charge of a police station who shall register the complaint), 154(3) (complainant may send the information to the superintendent of police if the officer in charge of the police station refuses to record the complaint), 156(3) (Magistrate directing police to register FIR), 190 (cognizance of offences by magistrate) and/or 200 (examination of complainant) CrPC.
The court granted the petitioner liberty to avail of the remedies provided under the CrPC, including approaching a magistrate with complaint of a cognizable offence in case police refuses to act.
Justice Nagu referred to the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Alegue Padamsee and Ors vs. Union of India and Ors wherein it was held that, “Whenever any information is received by the police about the alleged commission of offence which is a cognizable one there is a duty to register the FIR. There can be no dispute on that score. The only question is whether a writ can be issued to the police authorities to register the same. The basic question is as to what course is to be adopted if the police does not do it. As was held in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences' case (supra) and re-iterated in Gangadhar's case (supra) the remedy available is as set out above by filing a complaint before the Magistrate….”
The Supreme Court had said in that case that, “[t]he correct position in law, therefore, is that the police officials ought to register the FIR whenever facts brought to its notice show that cognizable offence has been made out. In case the police officials fail to do so, the modalities to be adopted are as set out in Sections 190 read with Section 200 of the Code”.
It is to be noted that the CrPC provides that a complainant can approach the magistrate if the police refuses to act on the complaint of the commission of a cognizable offence and the magistrate may take cognizance of the offence.
Justice Nagu also referred to the apex court’s directions in Alegue Padamsee’s case that, “ (1) If any person is aggrieved by the inaction of the police officials in registering the FIR, the modalities contained in Section 190 read with Section 200 of the Code are to be adopted and observed. (2) It is open to any person aggrieved by the inaction of the police officials to adopt the remedy in terms of the aforesaid provisions. (3) So far as non-grant of sanction aspect is concerned, it is for the concerned government to deal with the prayer. The concerned government would do well to deal with the matter within three months from the date of receipt of this order.”
“In view of the above, without commenting upon merits of the case, the present petition stands disposed of with liberty to the petitioner to avail the remedy provided under the CrPC,” ordered Justice Nagu.