First Information Need not be an Encyclopedia: Karnataka High Court

The Karnataka High Court while rejecting the bail application of a murder accused has reiterated that First information need not be an encyclopedia; it need not contain every detail pertaining to the crime and only requires the crime to be reported.

Brief Facts of the Case

  • On 30.11.2018, sister of the deceased (Keshava) reported to the police that at about 9.15pm, on that day her brother-in-law, namely, Govindaraju came near her house and informed her that Keshava had been assaulted near Hennur Bande. She went to that place immediately and saw the dead body of her brother.
  • At that time, she came to know that about 3-4 persons had caused the death of Keshava by assaulting him with deadly weapons. During investigation it came to light that the petitioner and other accused that are juvenile are involved and accordingly charge sheeted them.
  • Seeking bail before the High Court, it was the argument of the petitioner’s counsel that the complaint or the first information does not disclose the name of the assailants much less the name of the petitioner.
  • Nothing prevented the eye witnesses from reporting the incident directly to the police. For this reason they cannot be believed to be eyewitnesses and there was no prima facie case against the petitioner, it argued further.
  • One Kiran and Sharath are said to be the eye witnesses.
  • Opposing the grant of bail, the High Court Government Pleader submitted that that merely for the reason that the eye witnesses did not inform to the police, it cannot be a ground for holding that prima-facie materials are not forthcoming. It is also his submission that at the instance of the petitioner, a knife was recovered and therefore all these events put together establish existence of prima-facie case for denying bail.
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Observation of the Court

  • First information need not be an encyclopedia. It need not contain every detail. What is required is reporting of the crime to the police.
  • If the sister of the deceased gave information about the killing of her brother without mentioning the names of the assailants, it cannot be a ground for disbelieving the FIR. If Kiran and Sharath who are shown as eye witnesses did not inform the police about the incident, their statements cannot be disbelieved at this stage. They may be subjected to cross examination in the course of trial to test their demeanor. These two witnesses have clearly stated that on 30.11.2018 at about 9.00pm, they saw the accused, namely, Joe, Abhishek, Dileep, Bandli and Arjun, i.e., the petitioner assaulting Keshava with deadly weapons. Their statements cannot be discarded at this stage as argued by the learned High Court Government Pleader.
  • The petitioner has produced before the police a knife said to have been used for assaulting the deceased. Therefore I find ample materials at this stage. Involvement of the petitioner is very much forthcoming. Hence bail is rejected.

Case Name: Arjun v. State of Karnataka
Case No.: CRIMINAL PETITION No.1640 OF 2020

Also Read: A Married Daughter also has the Right to Compassionate Appointment: Himachal Pradesh High Court

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