Madhu Bala v. Suresh Kumar [1997 SC]

The mode and manner of registration of such cases are laid down in the Rules framed by the different State Governments under the Indian Police Act, 1861. As in the instant case we are concerned with Punjab Police Rules, 1934 framed under the said Act we may now refer to the relevant provisions of those Rules. Chapter XXIV of the said Rules lays down the procedure an officer in charge of a police station has to follow on receipt of information of commission of crime. Under Rule 24.1 appearing in the Chapter every information covered by Section 154 of the Code must be entered in the First Information Report Register and the substance thereof in the daily diary. Rule 24.5 says that the First Information Report Register shall be a printed book in Form 24.5(1) consisting of 200 pages and shall be completely filled before a new one is commenced. It further requires that the cases shall bear an annual serial number in each police station for each calendar year. The other requirements of the said Rules need not be detailed as they have no relevance to the point at issue.

From the foregoing discussion it is evident that whenever a Magistrate directs an investigation on a “complaint” the police has to register a cognizable case on that complaint treating the same as the FIR and comply with the requirements of the above Rules. It, therefore, passes our comprehension as to how the direction of a Magistrate asking the police to “register a case” makes an order of investigation under Section 156(3) legally unsustainable. Indeed, even if a Magistrate does not pass a direction to register a case, still in view of the provisions of Section 156(1) of the Code which empowers the police to investigate into a cognizable “case” and the Rules framed under the Indian Police Act, 1861 it (the police) is duty-bound to formally register a case and then investigate into the same. The provisions of the Code, therefore, do not in any way stand in the way of a Magistrate to direct the police to register a case at the police station and then investigate into the same. In our opinion when an order for investigation under Section 156(3) of the Code is to be made the proper direction to the police would be “to register a case at the police station treating the complaint as the first information report and investigate into the same”.