J. Venkatesan

“There has been a serious lapse on the part of the police in not taking cognisance of the complaint filed by the petitioner.”

New Delhi: Holding that refusal to register a First Information Report (FIR) by the police on the basis of a complaint amounted to a serious lapse, the Supreme Court has directed the Tamil Nadu government to pay Rs. 5,000 as compensation to a complainant. The FIR was registered only after he moved the court.

Giving this direction, a Bench of Justice D.K. Jain and Justice R.M. Lodha in a recent order said, “S. Mahendran, counsel for the petitioner submits that for the registration of the FIR, the petitioner was made to run from pillar to post and even the order passed by the Judicial Magistrate under Section 156 (3) of the Cr.P.C. was ignored by the police and the FIR was registered only after he approached this court and for all this harassment the petitioner should be suitably compensated.”

The Bench said, “We find substance in the plea of counsel for the petitioner. Admittedly, there has been a serious lapse on the part of the police in not taking cognisance of the complaint filed by the petitioner. In the first instance, he was forced to approach the High Court and then this court. He has been put to unnecessary harassment for which he deserves to be compensated.”

The Bench said, “The ends of justice would be sub-served if the State is directed to pay Rs. 5,000 as compensation for the harassment caused to him on account of inaction on the part of the functionaries of the State. It will be open to the State to recover the said amount from the delinquent officers.”

In the instant case, petitioner Sagaya Xavier lodged a complaint with the Tiruchi police in August 2007. Since no FIR was registered, he moved the court of Judicial magistrate who ordered the registration of FIR. As this order was not complied with, he moved the Madras High Court and later the Supreme Court.

Disposing of the appeal, the Bench said, “Pursuant to our order dated February 23, 2009, A. Alexander Mohan, Inspector-General of Police and Commissioner of Police, Tiruchi, is present in court. He has filed an affidavit that the Superintendent of Police, Tiruchi district, has given clear instructions to all subordinate officers that there should be no delay in the registration of FIRs in respect of complaints lodged by public. It is also stated that four officers have been placed under suspension with effect from March 2 for being dealt with under the Rules.”

The Bench asked the IGP to file a report in three months on the action taken against the officers who had been placed under suspension.