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Report No. 152

8.2. Non-Registration of Information.-

Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 makes it obligatory for the police to register information relating to a cognizable offence. Section 157 further makes it obligatory for the police to investigate the facts and circumstances of the case and to take measures for the discovery and arrest of the offender. Unfortunately, compliance with these provisions is very often wanting even in non-custodial offences. Non-registration of complaints is a common malpractice in police station. There are several reasons for this malady.

The National Police Commission took note of the act that in a study conducted by the Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi, on the "Image of the Police in India", it was found that over 50 per cent. of the respondents had mentioned non-registration of complaints as a common malpractice in police station. The National Police Commission1 further set out several factors accounting for such non-registration which included extraneous influence and corruption, besides the disinclination of the staff to take on additional load of investigational work in the midst of heavy pressure of several other duties.

It was also stated that sometimes there was a desire to keep the figure of reported crime on the records low, in order to show "efficient police administration under their charge". This is due to the statistical approach applied by the higher echelons of police administration, for assessing the crime situation and evaluating police performance, with the result that this attitude permeates the entire hierarchy down the line and is reflected among the officers at the police station in their reluctance and refusal to register cases an and when crimes are brought to their notice.

Experience has shown that whether a serious attempt was made by the police administration to remove this malpractice, there was a marked increase in the number of registered cognizable crimes. Refusal by the police to record information relating to commission of an offence is a serious matter, which puts the complainant to harassment and also affects the credibility of the police. We are strongly of the view that there should be effective sanctions for the non-registration of the first information given to the police, of a cognizable offence.

1. National Police Commission, 4th Report (1980).

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