Magistrate can’t order FIR on private complaint: SC

The Supreme Court in Delhi.

The Supreme Court in Delhi.  

‘Executive Magistrate has no power under the Cr.PC

An executive magistrate has no power under the Code of Criminal Procedure to direct the police to register an FIR on a private complaint filed before him, the Supreme Court has ruled.

The recent judgment from a Bench of Justices Rohinton Nariman and Navin Sinha concerned a direction passed by the Unnao Sub-Divisional Magistrate to file an FIR on a private complaint from a student who alleged that she was cheated into taking admission to a three-year law course at an unrecognised institute. The police filed a case of cheating and misrepresentation against the institute management. After the Allahabad High Court refused to quash the FIR, the institute managers moved the Supreme Court.

“It is apparent that in the scheme of the Code, an Executive Magistrate has no role to play in directing the police to register an FIR on basis of a private complaint filed before him,” observed Justice Sinha, who wrote the judgment.

“If a complaint is filed before the Executive Magistrate regarding an issue over which he has administrative jurisdiction and the Magistrate proceeds to hold an administrative inquiry, it may be possible for him to file an FIR himself... In such a case, entirely different considerations would arise,” the court said.

However, in the present case, a reading of the FIR showed that the police registered the FIR on the direction of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, which was “clearly impermissible in the law,” the court said.

“The Sub-Divisional Magistrate does not exercise powers under Section 156(3) of the Code. The very institution of the FIR in the manner done is contrary to the law and without jurisdiction,” it said.

The Bench said it was up to the complainant to lodge her grievance with the jurisdictional magistrate under Section 200 of the Cr.PC.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 9:13:36 PM |

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