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can police refuse to register FIR disclosing cognizable offence

                            A SHORT NOTE ON LEGAL OPINION


Aslam has filed the complaint that his daughter Tazeen has not returned home & is apprehending that her boyfriend Jeet Kumar has been kidnapped. Jeet Kumar is also missing from home & he has threatened to kidnap his daughter if Aslam does not agree to marry his daughter with him. Jeet Kumar is known for his misdeed, Drinking & bad habits. Jeet Kumar has a criminal mind set. Aslam requested the police to register the F.I.R., but in vain. 


Whether Police can refuse to register F.I.R. if the case disclose commission of Cognizable offence or Police department ignoring its duty which resulted into violation of Aslam’s rights.


Public servant disobeying law, with the intent to cause injury to any person or likely to cause injury to any person such disobedience shall be punishable under section 166 in the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The non-registration of F.I.R. over the commission of Cognizable offence is considered as the disobedience of law. In such cases any person aggrieved by refusal on the part of an officer in charge of a police station may send the information in writing to the superintendent of police. The superintendent of Police may investigate the case himself or direct investigation to be made by any police officer subordinate to him. 

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines, strict action shall be taken against those police officer concerned for not registering F.I.R. subject to Cognizable offences. Section 36 of Code of Criminal Procedure give powers to the Superior officer of Police and allow his to aid the Magistrate & the police. The Superintendent of police has the power to take action against the concerned police officer for disobeying law. 

The concept of Legal Service Authority came from the Supreme Court judgement. Legal Service Authority provide legal Aid to any person who is aggrieved and also assist them to register their cases. Legal service Authority shall be establish at District level headed by District Judge & state-level headed by High Court Judge. In Sugesan Transport Pvt. Ltd. V.  Assistant Commissioner of Police (2016) Madras High Court held that Legal Service Authority takes immediate action & provide legal aid regarding registration of F.I.R..Court also refer paragraph 95 of Lalita Kumari V. State of U.P. (2013) Judgement to state that article 144 of the constitution bound these Authorities to act in aid of the Supreme Court and the  Legal Service Authority was establish to deliver Justice to everyone and responsible to ensure the implementation of the direction of the Supreme Court in the 2013 Judgement.

Article 144 of the constitution, stated that civil & judicial authorities to act in aid of the Supreme Court. In the case of Prakash Singh V. Union of India (2016) Supreme Court ask for establishment of Police Complaint Authority in the District-level & State-level. In this judgment Supreme Court issued 7 direction for the Police Reform at Central-level & State-level. The function of Police Complaint Authority at State level would take cognizance of only allegation of serious misconduct by the police personnel. District Police Complaint Authority may also inquire into the allegation involving serious abuse of authority. The District Police Complaint Authority headed by District Judge and the State Police Complaint Authority headed by High Court Judge or Supreme Court Judge. The power of the Police Complaint Authority may also include recommendation for any action related to departmental or Criminal against a delinquent police officer shall be binding on the concerned Authority. 

The non-registration of F.I.R. is a misconduct of police officer as well as serious abuse of his authority on the account of following reasons-

  • Action shall be taken against the erring police officer for not registering F.I.R. related to cognizable offence refer Lalita Kumari V. State of U.P. (2013) judgement.

  • Refer the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs for registration  of F.I.R., to prosecute erring police officer under section 166 of Indian Penal Code. 

  • Refer the report of committee of reform of Criminal Justice System which advocate non registration of Cases is serious complaint against the Police.


In my opinion, Aslam lodged F.I.R. for the offence of Kidnapping, a Cognizable & non-Bailable offence under Indian Penal Code. The act of Police in Charge of concerned police station by not registering F.I.R. is a clear disobeying of law section 166 of Indian Penal Code. I request Court to take strict action against such erring police officer who are responsible for distressing people. Aslam Complaint should be registered without any delay else it will inflict more injury to the innocent. 


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