Supreme Court held that any offence under section 31 of Representation of People Act, 1950 is a Non-cognizable offence and hence direct registration of FIR is not maintainable.
Keshav Lal Thakur Vs State of Bihar on 11 October 1996
We need not go into the question whether in the facts of the instant case the above view of the High Court is proper or not for the impugned proceeding has got to be quashed as neither the police was entitled to investigate into the offence in question nor the Chief Judicial Magistrate to take cognizance upon the report submitted on completion of such investigation. On the own showing of the police, the offence under Section 31 of the Act is non cognizable and therefore the police could not have registered a case for such an offence under Section 154 Cr.P.C. of course, the police is entitled to investigate into a non-cognizable offence pursuant to an order of a competent Magistrate under Section 155 (2) Cr.P.C. but, admittedly, no such order was passed in the instant case. That necessarily means, that neither the police could investigate into the offence in question nor submit a report on which the question of taking cognizance could have arisen. While on this point, it may be mentioned that in view of the proviso to Section 2 (d) Cr.P.C., which defines ’complaint’, the police is entitled to submit, after investigation, a report a relating to a non-cognizable offence in which case such a report is to be treated as a ’complaint’ of the police officer concerned, but that explanation will not be available to the prosecution here as that related to a case where the police initiates investigation into a cognizable offence – unlike the present one – but ultimately finds that only a non-cognizable offence has been made out.
Citations: [1996 AD SC 7 838], [1997 ALD CRI 1 123], [1997 ALT CRI 1 439], [1996 CRIMES SC 4 121], [1996 SCALE 7 598], [1996 SCC 11 557], [1996 SUPP SCR 7 578], [1996 CCR 4 205], [1996 ACJ 2 694], [1996 JT 616], [1996 SUPREME 7 608], [1997 SUPREME 1 150]
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