Separate & Independent Application U/s. 154(3) CrPC Is Required After Refusal By SHO To Register FIR: Chhattisgarh HC
The Chhattisgarh High Court held that there must be a separate and independent application under Section 154(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) after the refusal by the SHO to register FIR.
The Court said that such a refusal is sine qua non for making the application maintainable under Section 154(3) of the CrPC.
A Division Bench comprising Justice Sanjay K. Agrawal and Justice Rakesh Mohan Pandey observed, “Registration of FIR involves serious and devastating consequences on life and liberty of a person against whom the FIR is directed to be made, therefore, strict compliance of Section 154(3) of the CrPC is required to be made which is sine qua non for maintaining an application under Section 156(3) of the CrPC and merely endorsing a copy of application under Section 154(1) of the CrPC to the Superintendent of Police cannot be said to be the strict compliance of Section 154(3) of the CrPC, there has to be a separate and independent application under Section 154(3) of the CrPC after refusal by the SHO to register FIR.”
The Bench further said that there was total non-compliance with Section 154(3) of the CrPC, as no documents were filed by the complainant in support of the averments made in the application under Section 156(3).
Senior Advocate Rajeev Shrivastava and Advocate Sourabh Sahu represented the petitioners while Deputy Government Advocate Ruchi Nagar and Advocate T.K. Jha represented the respondents.
A complaint was received from the students of the school against the father of the respondent (teacher) working in a school, alleging the award of corporal punishment to the students whom he detained. On receipt of the said complaint, the matter was enquired by a committee and after due inquiry, though preliminary, the fact of award of corporal punishment was found proven and ultimately, in the interest of the students, the matter was referred to Police Station.
A charge-sheet was filed for the offences punishable under Sections 354 and 354A of the IPC and Sections 11(1) and 12 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act). But during the trial, the respondent filed an application under Section 156(3) of the CrPC alleging that the petitioners have committed the offence punishable under Section 23(1) and (2) of the POCSO Act and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000. The Additional Sessions Judge (FTC), Drug invoked its power and jurisdiction under Section 156(3) CrPC and registered an FIR against the petitioners and being aggrieved with this they approached the High Court.
The High Court after hearing the contentions of the parties asserted, “… the impugned order passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge invoking power under Section 156(3) of the CrPC is totally without jurisdiction and without authority of law apart from being in teeth of the judgment rendered by the Supreme Court in Priyanka Srivastava (supra) followed in Vikram Johar (supra) and further followed in Babu Venkatesh (supra).”
The Court also noted that Section 156(3) of the CrPC provides that “any Magistrate empowered under Section 190 may order such an investigation as abovementioned” and that the words “as abovementioned” refer to Section 156(1), which contemplates investigation by the officer in charge of the police station.
“The power in the Magistrate to order further investigation under Section 156(3) is an independent power and does not affect the power of the investigating officer to further investigate the case even after submission of his report under Section 173(8). The Magistrate can order reopening of the investigation even after the police submits the final report”, the Court said.
Accordingly, the Court quashed the order of the Additional Sessions Judge (FTC), Drug.
Cause Title- Parshant Vashishta & Ors. v. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.