Special Correspondent

Matter relates to alleged murder of woman by her husband

CHENNAI: In matters of cognisable offence, no discretion is vested with the police and they cannot refuse to register a First Information Report, the Madras High Court has ruled.

Justice K. Chandru passed the order on a writ petition filed by a senior citizen Susadima Amarolpam (65).

The petitioner said her niece Gracil Mary was married to an Integral Coach Factory (ICF) employee, Viswanathan, and the couple had three children. On August 12, 2006, Mr. Viswanathan allegedly set ablaze Gracil Mary, in front of the children.

Complaint lodged

As the children did not have blood relatives in Chennai, the local residents welfare association lodged a complaint with the Thirumullaivayal police on August 26, stating that the children were eyewitnesses to the murder and demanded action against Mr. Viswanathan. But, the police did not register an FIR.

The writ petition sought direction to the Thirumullaivayal police to register a case and investigate the matter.

In his order, Mr. Justice Chandru said the complaint "clearly disclosed a cognisable offence, and there is no reason as to why the police should show any complacency in a matter of this nature."

Pointing out that "inordinate delay" had been cited as justification for the refusal to register a case, he said the question of lodging a complaint and the unexplained delay could not be a ground to refuse registration of an FIR.

He directed the Thirumullaivayal police to register an FIR on the basis of the August 26 complaint.

An officer not below the rank of Deputy Inspector of Police shall investigate the matter.

A charge sheet shall be filed within three months and a compliance report sent to the court on expiry of three months.