Conducting Preliminary Inquiry In Corruption Cases Is Mandatory by police Before Registering an FIR: Kerala HC

Conducting Preliminary Inquiry In Corruption Cases Is Mandatory by police Before Registering an FIR: Kerala HC

An instant Writ Petition has been filed by the Petitioner aggrieved by the police inaction to register an FIR and conduct an investigation into the allegations raised by the Petitioner.

In the present case, the incumbent Managing Director of the KSRTC unearthed a scam while conducting an internal audit of the Corporations’ accounts for the period 2012-2015  and found grave financial irregularities and misappropriation by the then Accounts Manager, K.M. Sreekumar. 

Taking a cue from the above revelation, the petitioner, working as Vehicle Supervisor at the Vizhinjam Depot of the KSRTC filed a complaint to the police But the police refused to register the crime hence the petitioner resorted to filing the present writ petition.

The Learned counsel for the petitioners drew attention to the mandatory terms in which Section154 of Cr. P.C, 1973 is phrased i.e. legal obligation cast on the Police to register FIR on receipt of information regarding the commission of the cognizable offense. Further, he relied on the Hon’ble Constitution Bench decision of the Hon’ble  Supreme Court in Lalita Kumari versus. State of U.P [(2014)  for registering FIR in cognizable offenses without a preliminary investigation.

In response to Petitioner’s contentions Learned Public Prosecutor, relying on the decisions of the Apex Court in Aleque Padamsee versus. Union of India, [(2007) 6 SCC 171], Sakiri Vasu versus. The State of U.P., (2008) 2 SCC 277, contended that the obligation of the police to register FIR cannot be enforced by straightaway rushing to the Hon’ble High Court and seeking the issuance of a writ of mandamus.

Hon’ble Bench comprising Hon’ble Justice V.G. Arun  held as follows: 

  • Firstly, It was held by the Hon’ble  Court that if the information discloses commission of cognizable offense then in those cases FIR must be registered without preliminary inquiry into the case.
  • Otherwise, if the information does not disclose cognizable offense then the preliminary inquiry is mandatory in such cases before registering an FIR.
  • Further, the court held that regarding the question as to what type and in which cases preliminary inquiry is to be conducted will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case.
  • It is pertinent to mention here that the court mentioned  category of cases in which preliminary inquiry may be required which are as follows:
  1. Matrimonial disputes
  2. Commercial offence
  3. Medical negligence case
  4. Corruption case
  5. In cases where there is an abnormal delay in initiating criminal prosecution,

Needful to mention, the court stated that the aforesaid are only illustrations and not exhaustive of all conditions which may warrant preliminary inquiry.”

  • Lastly, it was held by Hon’ble Court that the implied power of the Magistrate under Section 153(6) of Cr. P.C, 1973 of the magistrate must be first resorted before invoking the jurisdiction of the High Court under section 482 Cr. P.C, 1973. 

Finally,  based on the above observations the Hon’ble Court dismissed the above Writ Petition.

Tejaswi Goda
I'm Tejaswi Goda pursuing a B.A.LL.B course from the University College of Law, Osmania University. My subjects of interests are Human rights law, Constitutional law, Property laws, Criminal laws, Environment laws. Grabbing information, Researching and writing are activities which I'm most interested in. Reading books is my most favourite hobby. Above all working for climate change management is most prominent for me.