One complainant can’t lodge two complaints on same incident: HC

The High Court of Karnataka has held that the same complainant cannot be permitted to improve on the first complaint as an afterthought to bring in other offences by lodging a second complaint on the same incident.

“Once having registered a complaint on a particular premise of an incident, it is not open to the complainant to register another complaint on the very same incident regarding what happened during the same period,” the court observed.

Justice M. Nagaprasanna passed the order while quashing the second FIR registered by the police based on a second complaint lodged by the Hoskote Municipality Commissioner, who was chief of the flying squad to check poll code violations in Hoskote Assembly constituency during campaigning for the State Assembly elections in 2018. The Commissioner had lodged two complaints against B.V. Byre Gowda and other workers of the BJP. The first complaint was lodged for putting up banners and buntings illegally, while another complaint was filed for abusing and assaulting election officers for removing the buntings and banners.

The court, from the contents of the complaints, noted that the cause of action was an incident that had occurred on the same date, time and location, but the complainant had split the complaints into two, and hence two FIRs were registered by the police between 9 a.m. and 9.15 a.m. on April 18, 2018.

“A counter-complaint is always permissible on the same incident as there can be two complaints and two FIRs, if it is a case of complaint and counter-complaint or a case of consequential complaint. These are not the facts in the case at hand. Therefore, without a shadow of doubt it would be hit by the doctrine of sameness,” the High Court held. “The complainant cannot be permitted to improve on the earlier complaint and as an afterthought bring in other offences in the second complaint.”

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 5:18:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/one-complainant-cant-lodge-two-complaints-on-same-incident-hc/article36704704.ece

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