Registration of FIR not required on secret information about a crime which is about to occur
Tasleem NP Vs State of Karnataka
CRIMINAL PETITION No.3073 OF 2020
About/from the judgment:
The High Court has said the ratio laid down in the judgement of Lalita Kumari vs Government of Uttar Pradesh and Others [(2014) 2 SCC 1], which states that a station house officer on receiving information disclosing a cognizable offence is bound to register FIR, will not apply in cases wherein an officer receives secret information about a crime which is yet to occur.
The Court made this observation while dismissing the bail applications of few persons accused under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
Accused Tasleem N.P and others were arrested on June 11, by the police under sections 8(c), 22(b) and 22(c) of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. While seeking bail from the court their counsel had submitted that the seizure panchanama prepared by the police without registration of FIR was illegal.
Rejecting this contention, the court said:
"In Lalita Kumari (supra), the focus is on the duty of a Station House Officer once he receives information about commission of offence, that means the information should disclose a crime being already committed. And in such a situation, if the crime is cognizable, the Station House Officer is bound to register FIR without wasting time."
The Court added,
"But the secret information does not disclose a crime being committed, it only alerts the police about a crime which is about to occur. The police officer who receives such information has to proceed to spot for preventing the crime or to take such other measures that the situation demands. Thereafter if he prepares a report, it may be treated as FIR for further course of action."
As per the prosecution case, the Police Inspector received credible information that about six persons living in a house bearing No. 65, Kapila Cross Road, Behind Maruthi Dental College, Vinayaka Layout, Hulimavu, were possessing narcotic substances such as ganja, MDMA, ecstasy tablets and LSD strips and they were about to sell those substances.
The court said :
"Sometimes, offences do take place in the presence of the police officers. In such a situation, his first duty is to arrest the accused and collect the evidence, and not registration of FIR. In the case on hand what the police officer received was a report about likelihood of offences under NDPS Act being committed, the informant only suspected possession of contraband substances, regarding which no FIR could be registered without ascertaining the truth in the information. The seizure panchanama discloses that the petitioners and other accused possessed contraband substance for the purpose of selling them. He seized the substances and made a report of the same. No error can be found in it."
The court also turned down the argument of the accused that contraband substances were not seized from the 'conscious' possession of the accused.
It said "it is necessary to state that the word 'conscious' is related with the mental state of a person and his knowledge about something. It does not take the attributes of physical possession. If a bag containing contraband is found in the house of the accused, it goes without saying that the first impression of an ordinary prudent man is that the bag belongs to the accused and he must be aware of its contents. If he takes a stand that he was not aware of the contents, the burden is on him to establish it."
The court dismissed the petitions by "In these petitions, there are prima facie materials against the petitioner, section 37 of the NDPS Act is very much attracted. Therefore, the petitions are dismissed."
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