Police must register FIRs in cognizable cases: Centre

Police have no option but to register an FIR when information about a cognizable offence has been reported though there could be doubts about its credibility, the Union Home Ministry said.

In a fresh advisory to states, the ministry has flagged a Supreme Court order in November last and said that a police officer is duty bound to register a case under Section 154 of CrPC when there is information of cognizable offences like murder and robbery.
It said the “reliability, genuineness and credibility” of the information are not conditions precedent for registering a case under CrPC. Emphasising the need to register such cases, the advisory said that there is always an option to prosecute the complainant for filing a false FIR if the information is found to be false.

The State Home Departments have been directed to issue necessary instructions in this regard so that all police officers are made aware of the order and the contents are also incorporated in the training curriculum of the police personnel, a senior official said.
Non-registration of cases is a rampant complaint against police across the country.

The advisory noted that the court was “quite perturbed about the burking of crime registration” and has concluded that non-registration of crime leads to dilution of rule of law thus leading to “definite lawlessness” in the society.

However,  there are some exceptions to the mandatory registration of FIR. 

“If the information received does not disclose the commission of cognizable offence but indicates the necessity for an inquiry, a preliminary inquiry may be conducted only to ascertain whether a cognizable offence is disclosed or not. If the inquiry discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, the FIR must be registered,” it said.

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