Registration of a first information report in case of a cognisable offence is a must and action must be taken against police officials for not lodging a case in such offences, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said.

A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam said, “We hold registration of FIR is mandatory and no preliminary enquiry is permissible in cognisable offences.”

The bench, also comprising justices B S Chauhan, Ranjan P Desai, Ranjan Gogoi and S A Bobde, said action must be taken against erring police officials for not registering FIR in cognisable offences.

“Police officials cannot avoid to register the FIR and action must be taken against them if no FIR is registered,” the bench said. It said that preliminary enquiry can be conducted in other cases to find out whether the offence is cognisable or not and such probe must be completed within seven days.PTI