New Delhi: The Supreme Court has referred to
a Constitution bench to decide a crucial legal question if it is mandatory for a police officer to register an FIR on receipt of a complaint of commission of a cognisable offence
or a preliminary probe was required prior to its registration.
A three-judge bench of justices Dalveer Bhandari, T S
Thakur and Dipak Mishra said the issue needed to be settled by
a Constitution bench in view of the fact that that there were
"divergent" judgements by the apex court over the years.
The bench said while in some cases the apex court had
ruled that registration of an FIR was mandatory, in several
other cases, it was held that the police officer had the
discretion in registering an FIR as he can conduct a
preliminary inquiry on the veracity of the complaint.
"In view of the divergent opinions in a large number of
cases decided by this Court, it has become extremely important
to have a clear enunciation of law and adjudication by a
larger bench of this court for the benefit of all concerned ?
the courts, the investigating agencies and the citizens.
Consequently, we request the Chief Justice to refer these
matters to a Constitution Bench of at least five judges of
this Court for an authoritative judgement," said Justice
Bhandari, writing the judgement.
The apex court made the reference while dealing with a
habeas corpus petition filed by the father of a six-year-old
girl who was allegedly kidnapped by miscreants in UP`s
Ghaziabad district on May 5, 2008, but the police allegedly
demanded money for registration of an FIR.