In the case of C. Kumaravel v The Director General of Police, Madras High Court has restated that Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure is not an alternate remedy to Section 156(3) of Cr.P.C on refusal of police to register First Information Report on receipt of information regarding the commission of a Cognizable Case.

Petitioner had approached the Court with a criminal original petition filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C asking for direction to respondents to register a case on the complaint which was filed by the petitioner in April, 2017.

The Division Bench held that normal course of action or remedy for failure or non compliance of recording of information is Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure after due compliance and adherence to Section 154(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Direction has been given to the Magistrate by the Division Bench stating that no petition shall be entertained without exhausting the remedy under Section 154(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

It is also held that a petition can be filed in the High Court invoking the inherent jurisdiction under Section 482 only after the completion of 15 days from the date of receipt of the information by the Station House Officer. he Registry shall not receive any petition before the expiry of 15 days

The directions as given by the Division Bench are as follows:-

  • Section 482 Cr.P.C. cannot be invoked in all circumstances.
  • It is not an alternative remedy to Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. but a repository of inherent power. The normal course of remedy on a failure or refusal to record the information is Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure after due compliance of Section 154(3) Cr.P.C.
  • A petition can be filed invoking the inherent jurisdiction of this Court only after the completion of 15 days from the date of receipt of the information by the Station House Officer. The Registry shall not receive any petition before the expiry of 15 days aforesaid.
  • No petition shall be entertained without exhausting the remedy under Section 154(3) Cr.P.C.
  • An informant can send substance of the information to the Superintendent of Police on knowing the decision of the Station House Officer in not registering the case and proceeding with the preliminary enquiry. After conducting the preliminary enquiry, the Station House Officer’s decision in either registering the compliant or closing it will have to be intimated to the informant immediately and in any case not later than 7 days. Once such a decision is made, the informant cannot invoke Section 482 Cr.P.C.as the remedy lies elsewhere.
  • The directions issued by the Director General of Police in the circulars referred are to be strictly complied with by all the Station House Officers.
  • The affidavit to be filed shall contain particulars regarding the date of complaint, receipt and the date of sending substances of the information to the superintendent of Police under Section 154(3) Cr.P.C. and its receipt. The Registry shall not number any petition without due compliance.
  • This Court is not bound to direct the police to register the complaint in all cases notwithstanding the breach of time table furnished in Lalitha Kumari’s case.
  • The judicial Magistrates, while dealing the petitions under Sections 156(3) Cr.P.C. are directed to keep in mind the narratives in Lalitha Kumari’s case with specific reference to the cases, which might require a preliminary enquiry before issuing a direction to investigate and after careful perusal of the complaint. The other directions issued by the learned Single Judge in Sugesan Transport’s case are upheld.
  • Eschewing Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. is only on exceptional and rarest of rare cases. Monstrosity of the offence, extreme official apathy and indifference, need to answer the judicial conscience, and existence of hostile environment are few of the factors to be borne in mind to bring a case under the rarest of rare one.

Judgment Link-C Kumaravel V Director General of Police

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