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Rejecting to File FIR May Place Cop in Jail

Saying no to register an FIR on jurisdictional ground might now cost a policeman a year in jail. Taking tough view of growing instances of such acts by police in diverse states, the Union home ministry has declared severe instructions to all states to not only begin departmental enquiry against such cops but also put them on trial under Indian Penal Code (IPC). The home ministry told the states and Union Territories to obviously train all police stations that failure to register FIR on receipt of information about any cognizable offence will call prosecution of the duty police officer under IPC Section 166A (government official defying law) which will invite custody up to one year. In its latest dictate, the MHA told the states and UTs that policemen should be sensitized to take action to complaints with promptness, whether it is from man or woman, and must arrest the accused instantly after the complaint, as it unfavorably impacts the victim and there is propensity of persons committing crimes to slip away when there is holdup on irrelevant grounds like jurisdiction. There have been allegations that police was dithering in registering FIR in the December 16, 2012, Delhi gang-rape case over jurisdictional issue. There were also accusations that when a five-year-old was raped in East Delhi in March, police firstly refused to register the complaint. Quoting Supreme Court judgments, the home ministry advisory told that there was no legal dispute to justify rejection to register FIR on jurisdictional issues. Further, if after registration of FIR, upon investigation, it is found that the subject matter relates to jurisdiction of some other police station, the FIR may be aptly transferred to the police station under which the case falls. "Besides, if at the time of registration of FIR, it turns into clear that the crime was committed outside the jurisdiction of the police station, the police should be properly instructed to register a 'zero' FIR, make sure that the FIR is transferred to the concerned police station," it said. The home ministry said there should be clear instruction by the state governments that the setback over the fortitude of the jurisdiction leads to preventable wastage of time which impacts the victim and also leads to delinquents getting a chance to slip from the clutches of law and that should be closed.

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