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FIR is not an encyclopaedia: Kerala High Court

FIR cannot be quashed merely on the ground that it fails to provide all the information regarding the commission of a crime. Even if information does not furnish all details, it is for the investigating officer to find out those details during the course of investigation and collect necessary evidence. This principle was upheld by the Kerala High Court presided by J. R. Narayana Pisharadi in the case of Abdunnasar T. vs. State of Kerala [Crl.MC.No.4835 OF 2017(D)].

In the instant case, the offences alleged against the petitioners in FIR are under Sections 13(1)(d) read with 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code. The prosecution case contended that, the first and the second accused, who were officiating as Secretaries of the Feroke Grama Panchayat during the period from 01.01.2012 to 02.07.2013 and 30.07.2014 to 31.07.2015 respectively, hatched a criminal conspiracy with the third accused and pursuant to such conspiracy, they abused their official position and granted building permit, without the approval of the Town Planning Officer, to the third accused in respect of a building constructed in wet land and that they did not impose building tax at threefold rate of the normal rate which should have been imposed and thereby caused huge loss to the Government and corresponding pecuniary gain to the third accused. The case against the petitioners was registered after conducting a preliminary enquiry by the VACB on the basis of the facts revealed in a surprise check. This petition was filed under Section 482 of the CrPC by the petitioners for quashing the FIR.

The honorable court held, “Keeping in mind the above principles, at the time of hearing, this Court expressed the view that the allegations in FIR, disclose commission of the offences alleged against the petitioners and therefore, it would not be proper for this Court to quash the FIR. When the case came up for hearing, the learned Public Prosecutor had submitted before this Court that the investigation of the case has reached the final stage. In view of this fact, this Court also expressed the view that, when the investigation of the case had reached the final stage, it should be allowed to reach its logical end.” The court further stated “It is clarified and ordered that pendency of a crime shall not be reckoned for anything against the service matters of the petitioners including their due promotion and other benefits. Consequently, the prayer for quashing FIR is rejected and the petition is dismissed. However, it is made clear that the benefit granted to the petitioners as per the interim order passed by this Court shall be available to them till the date of filing the final report in the case. The petitioners are at liberty to challenge the final report at the appropriate stage, if so advised”

The court referred to the case of Amish Devgan v. Union of India : (2021) 1 SCC 1, the Apex Court has held as follows: “The FIR is not an encyclopaedia disclosing all facts and details relating to the offence. The informant who lodges the report of the offence may not even know the name of the victim or the assailant or how the offence took place. He need not necessarily be an eye-witness. What is essential is that the information must disclose the commission of a cognizable offence and the information must provide basis for the police officer to suspect commission of the offence.”

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