A court here has directed the Anand Vihar Police to register an FIR on a complaint filed against a private school owner alleging “extortion” of money for getting admission to nursery classes of the school.

The complainant, C. K. Wahi, told Metropolitan Magistrate Naveen K. Kashyap that a Hindi news channel had on January 31 this year, around 9 p.m. aired a sting operation in which a sum of Rs.50,000 was demanded in the name of building fund for securing admission to nursery classes in Vivekanand School.

Following Mr. Wahi’s complaint on April 19, an action-taken report was filed by the Anand Vihar police on June 5 along with a CD of the sting operation obtained from the news channel.

Mr. Kashyap in his order said: “On a bare perusal of the complaint along with the CD, which was seen in court, it appears that there are clear allegations at least relating to ‘attempt to extortion’ relating to cognisable offense. But despite that, admittedly no FIR is registered by the police officials concerned, when complaint was made to them, nor any satisfactory reply given to complainant by police official when he (complainant) approached them under Section 154 Cr.P.C.”

Regarding the police contention that by “cooking” up stories of cognisable offence, criminal proceedings can be launched by unscrupulous complainants, the magistrate said the present complaint appeared “to be based on ground reality”.

While the court held that the credibility of information is not a ground for refusal to register a FIR it pointed out that FIR meant ‘First Investigation Report’ and not ‘Final Investigation Report’. Mr. Kashyap asked why there was so much hesitation in registering the FIR by the police despite paragraphs four to seven of the complaint listing “specific allegations of cognizable nature” against the accused.

“Further, trial courts are duty-bound to ensure that directions passed by the higher courts are complied with in letter and spirit by the public authorities against whom such directions are made time and again, otherwise every aggrieved person would be left with no option but approach higher courts for their grievance and remedy.”