The Karnataka High Court under Justice M Nagaprasanna in M Prakash And Vinayaka & ANR (Writ Petition No. 20269 of 2022) has said that lawful orders passed by Judicial Authorities are required to be scrupulously enforced by the Police and failure to do constitutes a constitutional tort arising out of breach of a fundamental right of access to justice for victims of crime. Such a violation constitutes grave misbehaviour and willful neglect of duty, both of which call for the imposition of severe punishment. These flagrant acts of official neglect by law enforcement agencies are intolerable.
The petitioner alleges that the 1st respondent forcibly broke open the doors of residence of the petitioner, thieved many articles in the house which were home appliances, fitness equipment, vehicle keys among other valuable articles. The reason for the alleged incident, according to the narration was that, the petitioner had filed a civil suit, which was seeking partition of the family properties. Based upon the said incident, the petitioner registered a private complaint before the jurisdictional Magistrate invoking Section 200 of the Cr.P.C. for offences punishable under Sections 380, 503, 410, 414, 425, 442, 451 read with Section 34 of the IPC. The learned Magistrate directs registration of the complaint in PCR, registered by the petitioner on reference being made of the matter to the Cottonpet Police Station for investigation under Section 156(3) of the Cr.P.C.Though the Cottonpet Police received the certified copy of the order, the crime was not registered. Even after repeated reminders the registration of complaint was not done. The crime comes to be registered only on 18-10-2022 after about 5½ months of reference being made by the learned Magistrate directing investigation to be conducted and a report to be submitted under Section 156(3) of the Cr.P.C. It is in that light the petitioner has knocked the doors of this Court seeking transfer of investigation to the hands of any other police officer or agency owing to the fact that the Station House Officer of the Police Station showing no interest in registering the crime even. The petitioner would allege that the Station House Officer is hand in glove with the 1st respondent/accused and therefore, seeks transfer of investigation to any other Police Station.
The bench said that “Law requires that, when the Magistrate directs investigation to be conducted under Section 156(3) of the Cr.P.C., the investigation has to commence immediately and for the investigation to commence, a FIR should be registered without any loss of time.”
“The Apex Court clearly holds that, when a Magistrate directs investigation under Section 156(3) of the Cr.P.C., FIR should be registered. It is the duty of the officer in-charge of the police station to register FIR regarding the cognizable offences disclosed in the complaint. It should be registered even if the Magistrate does not say in so many words, while directing investigation. The aforesaid action of registration of crime with an inordinate delay would disclose culpable negligence on the part of the Law Enforcement Agency in compliance with the lawful order passed by the learned Magistrate under Section 156(3) of the Cr.P.C. for registration of FIR and for investigation into the cognizable offences. Lawful orders passed by the judicial authority are required to be scrupulously enforced by the police. Failure to do so, constitutes a constitutional tort arising out of breach of a fundamental right of access to justice for victims of crime. Such breach amounts to serious misconduct”
The petition was disposed off and the Director General and Inspector General of Police were ordered to hold a departmental enquiry against the said officer in-charge of the police station
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY VAISHNAVI SINGH