Singh Katoch Vs. Chandigarh Administration & Ors  Insc 1073 (12 October 2007)
Sinha & Harjit Singh Bedi
out of SLP (Crl.) NO.3360 of 2006) S.B. Sinha, J.
Appellant and respondent No.4 herein are brothers and co-sharers.
jointly possess some properties. Appellant herein allegedly came to Chandigarh to reside in the family house
sometimes in 2001. He allegedly kept his belongings there and came back to Delhi.
2002, he, when came to Chandigarh, was allegedly restrained by his
brother from entering into the house. His complaint to the Police Station went
unheeded. First Information Report, according to him, was not registered
despite the fact that it disclosed a cognizable offence.
filed an application under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure before
the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The said
application was dismissed by reason of the impugned judgment, stating :
petitioner has filed this petition under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. for issuing
directions to respondents No.2 and 3 to register a case against respondent No.4
for house trespass and theft.
No.4 is the real brother of the petitioner. The said house in question is a
joint property of seven legal heirs. After the death of father of the
petitioner, the same has been inherited by seven persons. In the reply, it has
been stated that the petitioner was not residing in the aforesaid house and the
allegations leveled by him found to be false being family dispute. 5. Appellant,
is, thus, before us.
Asha Jain Madan, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant, in
support of this appeal, would submit that despite the fact that the property
was a joint property, having regard to the provisions contained in Section 339
of the Indian Penal Code, the respondent could not have wrongfully restrained
the appellant from occupying the first floor of the property and have access to
his belongings. It was urged that in terms of Section 154 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure, the Police Officers had a duty to register the first information
report once the allegations disclosed commission of a cognizable offence.
Kamini Jaiswal, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent and Mr. Ramesh
Gautam, learned counsel appearing on behalf of respondent No.4, however,
supported the judgment.
Although the officer in charge of a police station is legally bound to register
a first information report in terms of Section 154 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure, if the allegations made by them gives rise to an offence which can
be investigated without obtaining any permission from the Magistrate concerned;
the same by itself, however, does not take away the right of the competent
officer to make a preliminary enquiry, in a given case, in order to find out as
to whether the first information sought to be lodged had any substance or not.
In this case, the authorities had made investigations into the matter. In fact,
the Superintendent of Police himself has, pursuant to the directions issued by
the High Court, investigated into the matter and visited the spot in order to
find out the truth in the complaint of the petitioner from the neighbours. It
was found that the complaint made by the appellant was false and the same had
been filed with an ulterior motive to take illegal possession of the first
floor of the house.
contended that the right of the appellant to live in the joint family cannot be
taken away. Right of a co-sharer to enjoy the joint family property is a civil
right. Such a right, if denied by the other co-sharers for one reason or the
other, must be enforced by taking recourse to the remedies available under the
proceedings, in our opinion, cannot be taken recourse to for enforcing such a
civil right. In any event, in a case of this nature where the authorities bound
by law have already investigated into the matter and found that the allegations
made by the appellant against respondent No.4 were not correct, it would not be
proper for us to issue any direction to the respondent Nos.1 to 3 to lodge a
first information report.
not oblivious to the decision of this Court in Ramesh Kumari v. State (NCT of
Delhi) & Ors. [(2006) 2 SCC 677] wherein such a statutory duty has been
found in the Police Officer. But, as indicated hereinbefore, in an appropriate
case, the Police Officers also have a duty to make a preliminary enquiry so as
to find out as to whether allegations made had any substance or not.
v. Central Bureau of Investigation & Ors. [2006 (11) SCALE 272], this Court
an anonymous complaint was made in June 2004. Evidently it was within the
province of the first respondent to commence a preliminary inquiry. The
procedure laid down in the CBI Manual and in particular when it was required to
inquire into the allegation of the corruption on the part of some public
servants, recourse to the provisions of the Manual cannot be said to be unfair.
It did not find any reason to convert the preliminary inquiry into a regular
case. Pursuant to or in furtherance of the recommendations made by the first
respondent, which had received the imprimatur by the Central Vigilance
Commission, departmental proceedings were initiated. The Central vigilance
Commission advised the Railway Board to initiate minor penalty proceedings
against the delinquent officers by a letter dated 04.08.2005. There is no
merit in the appeal. It is dismissed accordingly.