In the given case when the police are not willing to register the victim’s FIR of money fraud which is a serious cognizable offence under IPC. The victim can seek the following remedies to register his/her complaint.
It is stated under Section 154(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure that if a person is refused by an officer-in-charge of a police station to register his/her report, then that person has an option to send the content of the information of crime in written form to the concerned Superintendent of Police via post so that the information could be recorded and investigated upon.
After receiving the information, if the SP is contended with regards to the disclosure of a cognizable offence based on such information, then the SP would either examine the case by themselves or command any other subordinate police officer to do the same in accordance with the Code. Also, the investigating officer would have the same powers as the officer-in-charge of the police station with respect to the investigation.
If the statutory remedy mentioned in Section 154(3) of CRPC does not prove to be effective, then the aggrieved person is advised to directly file a private complaint before the concerned Judicial Magistrate under Section 156 (3) r/w Section 190 of the Criminal Procedure Code. As per this, the said Magistrate is empowered to take the cognizance of the case on receiving such a complaint and direct the police to investigate the case.
The landmark judgement when it comes to matters relating to the registration of FIR is the Latika Kumari v. Govt. of UP & Ors. The Supreme Court in this judgement laid down eight guidelines that are to be followed by the police. The essential question that arose in this case of Latika Kumari was, “whether it is binding for the police to lodge an FIR when it is informed about the occurrence of an offence which is cognizable in nature?”. The Honorable Court ruled that it is obligatory for the police to lodge an FIR on receiving information that discloses the commission of a cognizable offence.
The Court further held that if it is clear that a cognizable offence has been committed, the police is not required to do any kind of preliminary inquiry. It means that the preliminary inquiry is valid merely to the extent of determining whether the offence committed is cognizable or not. Furthermore, the Apex Court clearly mentioned the kind of cases in which the preliminary inquiry could be conducted by the police, which are family disputes, commercial offences, medical negligence cases, corruption cases and cases with abnormal delay. The court also ordered that the preliminary inquiry must be started within 7 days of receiving the information of offence.
The practice of refusal on the part of police officers to register FIR is common. There can be several reasons for this such as protecting the accused persons who are powerful and have high contacts or harassing the poor victims, or irresponsible behavior of public servants, etc. The victim suffers the most due to this.
Whenever a cognizable offence is committed, the filing of an FIR is technically the first stage for initiation of criminal proceedings, and hence the first step for seeking justice. It means when the aggrieved person is denied to record his/her complaint, he/she is denied justice altogether. There is no doubt that various remedies have been provided to aggrieved persons for the said circumstances by the law, but all this running around to seek these remedies merely to get the complaint filed sometimes delays the justice to such an extent that it feels denied.