Agartala: Taking strong exception to the police’s reluctance in timely registration of FIRs, the High Court of Tripura has directed the higher authorities to hold high-level meetings to ensure that complainants are supplied copies of FIRs without any charges.
The single bench, headed by Justice Subhasish Talapatra, passed the order while hearing a writ petition filed against the officer-in-charge of Madhupur police station, under Sepahijala district, for discouraging complainant Subhas Paul.
Petitioner Subhas Paul has stated that he has a rubber plantation spreading over a tract of land measuring about 7 kanis (local unit of land measurement). The person against whom the complaint was lodged demanded from him a sum of Rs 5,00,000.
According to the complainant, the person also threatened him that unless the money is paid they will not allow the petitioner to enter his own rubber plantation. The petitioner was severely assaulted on March 1, leading to his hospitalisation.
The high court observed that the complaint filed by the petitioner has described commission of cognizable offenses by the accused persons, but the officer-in-charge of the Madhupur Police Station did not give proper response to the complainant.
“Despite the complaint filed by the petitioner to the Officer-in-charge of Madhupur Police Station, disclosing cognizable offenses, no specific case was registered before 06.03.2022. According to the petitioner, the police failed to discharge their duties and book the accused person. At the time of filing the writ petition, the petitioner did not have any knowledge that a specific case has been registered after 5/6 days,” the court noted.
Senior advocate Purushottam Roy Barman, who represented the petitioner in the Court, said that the High Court referred the verdict of the Supreme Court in Lalita Kumari Vs. Government of Uttar Pradesh and Ors. reported in (2014) 2 SCC 1 clearly said that the police has to register a complaint and give a copy free of cost.
“In the face of these records, the Secretary, Home Department, Government of Tripura is directed to hold a high-level meeting, preferably with all the Superintendents of Police of the Districts, Inspector General (Law and Order) and the Director General of Police, Government of Tripura to formulate the advisory in terms of the directions contained in para 120.1, 120.2, 120.3, 120.4, 120.5, 120.6. 120.7 and 120.8 of Lalita Kumari (supra). Such advisory shall be sent to all police stations for observing the same in letter and spirit,” the Court directed adding, “The officers-in charge of the police station shall be directed to supply a copy of the FIR, free of cost and forthwith.”
Expressing sharp disappointment over the role of police, the court observed that the police department was “unfortunately” unwilling to take a course correction.
“In a series of cases since 2015, this court has been observing, keeping high hopes that the superior authorities of the police would heed and take a correctional course but unfortunately this has not happened so far. The Secretary, Home Department, Government of Tripura, is further directed to issue such advisory within a period of six weeks from the day when the petitioner shall furnish a copy of this order. However, a copy of this order be furnished to Mr. Saha, learned counsel appearing for the respondents for onward transmission. In terms of the above, this writ petition stands disposed of,” the Court order reads.
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