FIR registration: SC refers issue to larger bench

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New Delhi, Sep 16 (UNI) The Supreme Court today referred to a larger bench the issue whether on receiving the information of a cognisable offence, police is bound to register an FIR or a police officer should be given discretion to conduct a preliminary enquiry before registering an FIR.

A bench comprising Justices B N Aggarwal and G S Singhvi referred to a three-judge bench, a petition of one Lalita Kumari whose minor daughter was kidnapped by some local influential people in Ghaziabad and SHO, police station Loni, instead of registering an FIR started pressurising the complainant to withdraw the case.

Suspects in the kidnapping, which took place last year, continued to move freely and kept on intimidating the victim's mother.

The two-judge bench decided to refer the case to a larger bench when the Centre and UP governments took the stand that police should be permitted to conduct preliminary investigation to verify the allegations before registering a case so that people are not falsely implicated in the case to settle personal score.

The judges, however, felt that giving discretion to a police officer will amount to giving the police a handle to virtually refuse to register a case which could not be permitted.

The apex court also expressed the view, '' We all know the ground reality as well as the functioning of police.'' The judges directed that the case may be placed before the Chief Justice of India to constitute an appropriate bench for authentic pronouncement on the issue.

UNI SC KK RP VC1614

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