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Report No. 84

X. Non-Recording of Information Relating to Cognisable Offences

3.29. Section 167A, I.P.C.-Refusal to register case of rape.-

We now come to another matter concerning the stage of investigation. During our oral discussions with the representatives of women's organisations, it was stated that in some cases the police fail to register a case of rape reported to them even when the full facts are communicated to them. We have not been able to gather statistics of the number of such cases, as the collection of the relevant figures would take considerable time and the present Report1 deals with a matter of urgency. We hope that the percentage of such cases would not be high. Nevertheless, we do take the view that in principle, the law should contain a specific provision dealing with refusal (or failure without sufficient cause) to register such cases.

The offence of rape is a cognisable offence and if the police fail to register it, it is a clear violation of the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 in this regard.2 Cognisable offences reported to the police are "registered"-as the popular usage goes-under section 154(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. If the officer in charge of a police station refuses to record the information reported relating to a cognisable offence, there is a remedy already provided3 in the Code of Criminal Procedure, the relevant provision being in the following terms:-

"(3) Any person aggrieved by a refusal on the part of an officer in charge of a police station to record the information referred to in sub-section (1) [of section 1541 may send the substance of such information, in writing and by post, to the Superintendent of Police concerned who, if satisfied that such information discloses the commission of a cognisable offence, shall either investigate the case himself or direct an investigation to be made by any police officer subordinate to him, in the manner provided by this Code, and such officer shall have all the powers of an officer in charge of the police station in relation to that offence."

1. See Chapter 1, supra.

2. Cf. Kurukshetra University v. State of Haryana, AIR 1977 SC 2220.

3. Section 154(3), Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

Rape and Allied Offences - Some Questions of Substantive Law, Procedire and Evidence Back

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