Delhi HC: Police Cannot Issue Summons Under Section 160 CrPC Without Registering FIR

Shashwati Chowdhury

Published on: June 13, 2022 at 17:00 IST

The Delhi High Court has held that issuing notices/summons under Section 160 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) requiring a person’s attendance needs the filing of a First Information Report (FIR).

According to Justice Chandra Dhari Singh, police cannot be said to be conducting an investigation under the CrPC without first filing a FIR, and officers can only issue summons under Section 160 to people who live within the station’s or adjacent station’s limits.

“Summons/notices under Section 160 of the Cr.P.C. can be issued by a Police Officer who is making investigation under and in accordance with the provisions of the Cr.P.C., and to set into motion such an investigation there is a pre-requisite of registration of FIR. Without registration of FIR, an investigation cannot be said to have been initiated,” the Court stated.

According to the Court, the Police Officer must act in accordance with the provisions of the Cr.P.C., and he may not act beyond of his authority by conducting a preliminary investigation without filing a report with a Magistrate.

The Petition was filed by Kulvinder Singh Kohli, a lawyer and the founder of Frankfinn Aviation Services Pvt. Ltd.

Kohli and one Harvansjit Singh were accused of violating the Indian Penal Code’s Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 501 (printing defamatory content), 504 (intentional insult to provoke peace), 505 (public mischief), 295A (acts intended to outrage religious feelings), and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) and Section 67 (information technology act).

The Petitioner, on the other hand, argued that he is about 60 years old and suffers from chronic heart disease. His lawyer stated that the summons/notices were issued prior to the filing of a case, which was against the law.

The summons were also without jurisdiction, according to the lawyer, because it was issued from SAS Nagar, although Kohli lives in Delhi.

The Court stated “the summons/notices were issued without jurisdiction from the concerned authority in SAS Nagar, Mohali, Punjab to the petitioner residing beyond its own station as well as any adjoining station.”

The Court quashed three summons issued by Punjab Police.

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