After the Haryana Police submitted that registration of FIRs is pending in 1,170 cases in which accused have been declared proclaimed offenders, the Punjab and Haryana High Court asserted that orders passed by trial courts or judicial magistrate first class for registration of FIRs are to be complied with in any case.
“…Where the trial court/judicial magistrate first class concerned has already ordered registration of FIR, the same has to be complied with, subject to order, if any, of revisional court/higher court,” the order passed by Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi said.
The observation was made by the court in response to a Haryana Police submission that the matter of registration of FIRs in 1,170 cases is pending in the state due to a verdict passed in appeal by a single bench of the High Court in 2016. The information was submitted by state DGP Manoj Yadava in reply to a court order asking whether any general instructions have been issued to the SHOs regarding the law providing for registration of FIR against the proclaimed offenders.
Submitting that no such instructions have been issued, DGP Yadava, as per the order, “raised the questions of the offence being cognizable on complaint of the concerned court by referring to judgment of coordinate bench of this court in CRR-2509-2014 titled Sher Singh Vs. State of Haryana”. The matter has now been adjourned to April 21 for arguments on the question of law regarding it.
Observing that in many cases, accused have been declared proclaimed offenders but despite directions no FIR under Section 174-A IPC has been registered by the police against them, Justice Tyagi in January had sought details regarding the number of cases in which directions for registration of FIR under Section 174-A were given by the courts but not implemented by the concerned SHOs in 2019.
The court in the order had said that an offence punishable under Section 174-A of the IPC is cognisable and non-bailable, and under Section 154 of the CrPC, the police station in-charge is duty-bound to register FIR and has no discretion to defer registration of FIR even on the ground of holding of any preliminary inquiry. Section 174-A provides for imprisonment of a person who has failed to appear before a court in response a proclamation requiring his/her presence.
In the Sher Singh case, the high court in 2016 had ruled regarding Section 195 CrPC, which bars courts from taking cognisance of offences punishable under Sections 172 to 188 of IPC, “except on the complaint in writing of the public servant concerned or of some other public servant to whom he is administratively subordinate”.
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