Preliminary enquiry vs Compulsory FIR

Tilak Marg Forum for Legal Questions Forums Constitutional Law Preliminary enquiry vs Compulsory FIR

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Dr. Ashok Dhamija Dr. Ashok Dhamija 5 months ago.

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  • #4798

    In the recent judgement on SC/ST Act 1989, SC provided for preliminary enquiry before registering FIR for offences under the Act. But a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in Lalita Kumari v. Govt. of U.P, 2014 held that registration of First Information Report is mandatory under Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, if the information discloses commission of a cognizable offence and no preliminary inquiry is permissible in such a situation. 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.
    Offences under SC/ST Act are cognizable, hence what is the necessity of preliminary enquiry as information received would prima facie reveal the commitment of a cognizable offence.

    Further the judgement says, “To avoid false implication of an innocent, a preliminary enquiry may be conducted by the DSP concerned to find out whether the allegations make out a case under the Atrocities Act and that the allegations are not frivolous or motivated.” How can anyone ascertain if the allegations are frivolous without the recourse of court?

    If the policemen are empowered to not register FIR due to prima facie impression that the complaint is frivolous or motivated then what does the “mandatory registration of FIR” mean in Lalita Kumari case?

    Is the same level of protection to accused available in any other offences (Sec 498a, PCA, etc.)?

  • #4799

    Please see our guidelines, we don’t reply to academic questions on this Forum. This Forum is meant to help people who have some legal issue of their own. We don’t have spare time to reply to academic questions; you can please do research on the issues involved through Google.

    In any case, in the Lalita Kumari case, the Supreme Court had referred to some types of cases in which a preliminary enquiry may be necessary before registration of FIR.

    In the judgment referred to by you for cases under SC/ST Act, the Supreme Court has laid down some safeguards in view of alleged misuse of the said Act, as mentioned by the court. This matter is already pending before the Supreme Court in a review petition. If you are aggrieved by this judgment, you can approach the Supreme Court.


    Dr. Ashok Dhamija is a New Delhi based Supreme Court Advocate and author of law books. Read more about him by clicking here. List of his Forum Replies. List of his other articles. List of his Quora Answers.

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