The Karnataka High Court has said that the issuance of multiple notices by the investigating agency to a person while carrying out a preliminary enquiry into a case cannot be a ground for faltering the enquiry. This was seen in the case of M.PRAKASH v. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE (WRIT PETITION NO.15624 OF 2022) and the judgment was presided over by the Coram of Justice Krishna S Dixit.
Facts of the case-
In the present case, a petition was filed that questioned the action of police calling him for enquiry, short of investigation, without registering the offence. The prosecution opposed the plea through the observations made by the Apex Court in the case of Lalita Kumari v. the State of UP. In this case, the Top court held that registration of FIR is mandatory under Section 154 of CrPC if the information discloses the commission of a cognizable offence; no preliminary inquiry is permissible in such a situation.
The Apex Court had also held that the scope of preliminary inquiry is not to verify the veracity of the information received but only to ascertain whether the information reveals any cognizable offence. Further, what type and in which cases preliminary inquiry is to be conducted will depend on the circumstances of each case.
Against this backdrop, the High Court noted, “The power to hold a preliminary enquiry is recognized by the Apex Court in the decision supra. However, the duration of preliminary enquiry depends upon the facts & circumstances of each case and ordinarily, that are in the domain of the investigating officer. Therefore, issuance of multiple notices is not a ground for faltering the enquiry in question.”
Finally, the HC disposed of with a direction that the Police shall not unnecessarily harass or arrest the petitioner, in the guise of a preliminary enquiry.
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Judgement reviewed by Alaina Fatima.