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J&K&L HC: Police Can’t Investigate Matter Without Registration of FIR, Have to Follow Statutory Procedure

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Published on: 07 August 2022 at 14:59 IST

The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court in recent judgement held that the police authority cannot considered as a superior person of the public administration system.

A Bench of Justice Rahul Bharti observed, “In case any public servant is to be subjected to a surveillance mode by a rank holder police official on the pretext of a complaint received without first entertaining the said complaint into a formal process, then surely the very confidence of the public servant in acting and doing his duty will be subjected to a paralysis.”

The Court was hearing petition filed by the petitioner, working as a Junior Engineer in PHE Department, put forward issue against the cognizance taken by the Superintendent of Police Doda of the anonymous complaint filed against him and thereafter the action of SHO asking for the information concerning the petitioner from its concerned Department in relation to the impugned complaint.

The petitioner has submitted in his petition the anonymous complaint filed by one who are having political score to settle with his father-in-law. Further, the case has no legal bearings to deal with & the respondent SSP Doda and SHO P/S Doda has no competent authority to investigate matter without even registering an FIR.

Justice Bharti while listening the matter reprimand the actions of police in the concerned matter and also how the Superintendent of Police Doda entertained the said complaint instead of referring it to the petitioner’s Head of the Department that being the Chief Engineer.

The Court questioned the respondent party regarding the anonymous complaint came to their end for the purposes of immediately acting upon it by addressing a letter to the Head of Department of petitioner thereby asking for information about the petitioner.

The Court noted that in the face of nature of the allegation put up by the anonymous complaint, it is unable to figure under which enabling provision of law the respondent SHO Station Doda entertained it and also acted upon it under the pretext of a complaint against petitioner to the respondent Executive Engineer, PHE Division Doda.

The Justice Bharti over the perusal of the impugned complaint noted that, “It is strange that the author of the anonymous complaint in the complaint has nowhere mentioned the fact as to why he/she has chosen to address the complaint directly to the Superintendent of Police, Doda and not to the Chief Engineer concerned.”

“There is also no reference in the complainant had in fact first apprised the Chief Engineer concerned or the superior officers of the petitioner about the alleged acts of omission and commission on the part of the petitioner related to his official status and position. This aspect does show that the said anonymous complaint was nothing but a set up aimed to harass a public servant.”

The Court quashed the impugned communication issued by the Station House Officer, Police Station Doda to the Executive Engineer, PHE Division Doda, thereby allowing the petition.