The Supreme Courthas agreed to hear an application on Wednesday seeking directions to the Delhi Police to register FIRs based on complaints following violence in whichdeath toll rose to nine in the violence over the amended citizenship law following riots in northeast Delhi.
The plea filed by former chairman of National Commission for Minorities WajahatHabibullah, Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Azad and resident of ShaheenBaghBahadur Abbas Naqvi has sought “comprehensive and exhaustive guidelines” for restrictions on protests and agitations in public places, in view of the continuous sit-in protest at ShaheenBagh.
What does the petition say?
The petition alleges thatKapil Mishra, a BJP leader was responsible for inciting and orchestrating the attack, as is evident from his own tweet. The said tweet read as under:-
"We have given a three-day ultimatum to the Delhi Police to get the road cleared. Get the Jaffrabad and Chandbagh (where another siting protest is underway) road cleared".
It is also alleged that persons hurt in the attack on the night of 23.02.2020 had filed complaints to the police, but no action has been taken by the police against the said perpetrators of violence.
What is interlocutory application?
Interlocutory is a legal term which essentially refers to an order, sentence, decree, or judgment, given in an intermediate or transitional stage between the beginning and end of a cause of action, used to give an impermanent or temporary decision on an issue.
An interlocutory application is an application which is moved in the primary appeal when some urgent relief is requested or to convey certain new facts to the learning of the court.
What is the law regarding registration of FIRs?
The process of filing FIR or First Information Report is provided under section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.
If the officer in-charge of the police station refuses to record the information, you can send the substance of such information, in writing and by post to the Superintendent of Police (SP) concerned. The SP is required to start the investigation himself or direct any other officer subordinate to him to start the investigation.
If even then No FIR is registered on the written complaint of the person aggrieved. The remedy then provided under Section 156 (3) Cr.P.C states that:
156. Police officer’s power to investigate cognizable cases.
(1) Any officer in charge of a police station may, without the order of a Magistrate, investigate any cognizable case which a court having jurisdiction over the local area within the limits of such station would have power to inquire into or try under the provisions of Chapter XIII.
(2) No proceeding of a police officer in any such case shall at any stage be called in question on the ground that the case was one, which such officer was not empowered under this section to investigate.
(3) Any Magistrate empowered under section 190 may order such an investigation as above mentioned.
Guidelines provided in LalitaKumari v UOI regarding FIR:
(i) Registration of FIR is mandatory under Section 154 of the Code, if the information discloses commission of a cognizable offence and no preliminary inquiry is permissible in such a situation.
(ii) If the information received does not disclose a cognizable offence but indicates the necessity for an inquiry, a preliminary inquiry may be conducted only to ascertain whether cognizable offence is disclosed or not.
(iii) If the inquiry discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, the FIR must be registered. In cases where preliminary inquiry ends in closing the complaint, a copy of the entry of such closure must be supplied to the first informant forthwith and not later than one week. It must disclose reasons in brief for closing the complaint and not proceeding further.
(iv) The police officer cannot avoid his duty of registering offence if cognizable offence is disclosed. Action must be taken against erring officers who donot register the FIR if information received by him discloses a cognizable offence.
(v) The scope of preliminary inquiry is not to verify the veracity or otherwise of the information received but only to ascertain whether the information reveals any cognizable offence.
(vi) As to what type and in which cases preliminary inquiry is to be conducted will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case.
(vii) While ensuring and protecting the rights of the accused and the complainant, a preliminary inquiry should be made time bound and in any case it should not exceed 7 days. The fact of such delay and the causes of it must be reflected in the General Diary entry.
(viii) Since the General Diary/Station Diary/Daily Diary is the record of all information received in a police station, we direct that all information relating to cognizable offences, whether resulting in registration of FIR or leading to an inquiry, must be mandatorily and meticulously reflected in the said Diary and the decision to conduct a preliminary inquiry must also be reflected, as mentioned above.