Judgement of the day: Lalita Kumari v. Govt. of U.P. & Ors.


P. Sathasivam, B.S. Chauhan, Ranjana Prakash Desai, Ranjan Gogoi, S.A. Bobde


The petitioner, a minor girl was kidnapped by local goons. Her father, Bhola Kamat went to the police station to lodge an FIR to which the police refused. The father further went to the Superintendent of Police and under his direction an FIR was registered. But even then, investigation was not started and the police officers did not take any measure to nab the accused or recover the minor girl either. Hence, a writ petition was filed under article 32 before the Supreme Court.


The Supreme Court observed that:

1. Registration of an FIR is mandatory under section 154.

2. If information received does not disclose a cognizable offence but indicates the necessity for an inquiry, a preliminary inquiry may be conducted only to ascertain whether there was a commission of a cognizable offence or not.

3. If a unanimous complaint is lodged, it must first be put in the list of a preliminary inquiry, if there is well found evidence regarding commission of cognizable offence, then the FIR is to be registered.

4. If there is a chance that a certain complaint could be false, preliminary inquiry is to be conducted.

5. If preliminary inquiry discloses commission of a cognizable offence, the FIR must be registered. In cases where preliminary inquiry ends in closing the complaint, the copy of the entry of such closure must be supplied to the first informant within a week disclosing the reason behind closing the case.

6. The police officer cannot avoid his duty of registering offences if cognizable offence is disclosed. Action must be taken against erring officers.

hence, Registration of FIR in case of cognizable offence was made mandatory.

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