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Can Police refuse to register FIR

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    Can police say that the crime has not been committed in their territory and so they will not accept the complaint and ask me to go to other police station?



    As such every police station has defined territorial jurisdiction and one should approach the police station in whose jurisdiction the crime has been committed. However, at times the same may not be feasible for any reason. Under these circumstances, you may report a crime to the nearest police station. The police cannot refuse to register FIR for any cognizable offence on the ground that it is outside their territorial jurisdiction. They are required to register the same as zero FIR and transfer the same to the concerned jurisdiction.

    The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of State of Andhra Pradesh v. Punati Ramulu and others has observed ‘The police constable at the police station refused to record the complaint presented by PW 1 on the ground that the said police station had no territorial jurisdiction over the place of crime. It was certainly a dereliction of duty on the part of the constable because any lack of territorial jurisdiction could not have prevented the constable from recording information about the cognizable offence and forwarding the same to the police station having jurisdiction over the area in which the crime was said to have been committed.’.

    Further, same view has been observed in many judgments. In the case of Satvinder Kaur v. State, the Apex Court has observed ‘Further, if the Investigating Officer arrives at the conclusion that the crime was not committed within the territorial jurisdiction of the police station, then F.I.R. can be forwarded to the police station having jurisdiction over the area in which crime is committed. But this would not mean that in a case which requires investigation, the police officer can refuse to record the FIR and/or investigate it.’.

    In the case of Sonu and others v. State and Anr., Delhi High Court has explained the procedure in such cases ‘In the present case there is no allegation made in the FIR itself that a part of the crime was committed in Delhi. The parties never lived in Delhi. Marriage took place in U.P. Matrimonial home was in Patiala and alleged crime of dowry demand was allegedly committed in Patiala (Punjab). No investigation is needed to come to the conclusion that no part of crime was committed in Delhi and the alleged crime was committed either in U.P. or Patiala. PS Malviya Nagar even if registered the FIR should have transferred it to the Police Station of Patiala where the offence was committed. Normally in all such cases, zero FIR is registered at a Police Station at Delhi and FIR is transferred to the concerned police station where crime is committed’.

    Hence, the Police as such cannot refuse to register the FIR, however they may transfer the same, if it is outside their jurisdiction before or after investigating the same and coming to the conclusion that the same is not in their jurisdiction.

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