The Supreme Court has reiterated that the delay in sending the FIR to the Magistrate in compliance of Section 157 of the Code of Criminal Procedure cannot, in itself, be a ground to acquit the accused.
In the instant criminal appeal, the contention of the accused was that the FIR was belatedly sent and received by the ilaka magistrate (Chief Judicial Magistrate in this case) after 11 days. The accused Ombir Singh had challenged the conviction under section 302 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, and section 27 of the Arms Act, for the murder of one Abhaiveer Singh Bhadoria @ Munn.
While considering the said contention, the bench noted the judgment Jafel Biswas v. State of West Bengal wherein the effect of delay in compliance of Section 157 of the Code and its legal impact on the trial was examined. In the said decision, it was held that mere delay in sending the report itself cannot lead to a conclusion that the trial is vitiated or the accused is entitled to be acquitted on this ground. It was further observed thus in the said decision: "The obligation is on the I.O. to communicate the report to the Magistrate. The obligation cast on the I.O. is an obligation of a public duty. But it has been held by this Court that in the event the report is submitted with the delay or due to any lapse, the trial shall not be affected. The delay in submitting the report is always taken as a ground to challenge the veracity of the F.I.R and the day and time of the lodging of the F.I.R."
"Therefore, delay in compliance of Section 157 of the Code cannot, in itself, be a good ground to acquit the appellant.", the bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, Mohan M. Shanthanagoudar and Sanjiv Khanna said.
Taking note of the evidence on record and facts of the case, the bench proceeded to dismiss the criminal appeal.
Case no.: CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 982 OF 2011Case name: OMBIR SINGH vs.STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH Coram: Justices NV Ramana, Mohan M. Shanthanagoudar and Sanjiv Khanna
Click here to Read/Download Judgment