Provisions Involved

Article 21 and 32 of The Indian Constitution. Section 154,156 and 157 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973


When the minor daughter of the petitioner was kidnapped, he submitted a written report before the officer-in-charge of the concerned police station informing him about the same. The police officer did not take any action on the report. Aggrieved, the petitioner moved to the 

Superintendent of Police which led to the registration of First Information Report (FIR). However, even then no steps were taken either for arresting the accused or for the recovery of the minor girl child. Therefore, the matter was lifted to the Supreme Court Of India.


  • Whether the lack of immediate registration of FIR leads to manipulation by the police which affects the rights of the victim/complainant to have a complaint immediately investigated upon allegations being made? 

  • Whether in cases where complaint/information does not clearly disclose the commission of a cognizable offence but the FIR is compulsorily registered then does it infringe the rights of an accused? 



It was observed that the case holds great public importance and needs a clear declaration of law because of which it was referred to a Constitution Bench of five judges of the Supreme Court for an authoritative judgment. 

Following directions were given in the case: 

  • Registration of FIR is mandatory under Section 154 of the Code, if the information discloses commission of a cognizable offence and no preliminary inquiry is permissible in such a situation. 
  • If the 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 cognizable offence is disclosed or not. 
  • If the inquiry discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, the FIR must be registered. In cases where preliminary inquiry ends in closing the complaint, a copy of the entry of such closure must be supplied to the first informant forthwith and not later than one week. It must disclose reasons in brief for closing the complaint and not proceeding further. 
  • The police officer cannot avoid his duty of registering offence if cognizable offence is disclosed. Action must be taken against erring officers who do not register the FIR if information received by him discloses a cognizable offence. 
  • The scope of preliminary inquiry is not to verify the veracity or otherwise of the information received but only to ascertain whether the information reveals any cognizable offence.