Registration of FIR not required on secret information: Karnataka HC

Registration of FIR not required on secret information about a crime which is about to occur noted the Karnataka HC. The Court has made some observations while dismissing the bail applications of persons accused under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
 

Brief Facts

  • According to the prosecution case, the Police Inspector received credible information that about six persons living in a house bearing No. 65, Kapila Cross Road, Behind Maruthi Dental College, Vinayaka Layout, Hulimavu, was possessing narcotic substances such as ganja, MDMA, ecstasy tablets and LSD strips and they were about to sell those substances.
  • The police under sections 8(c), 22(b) and 22(c) of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 arrested the accused Tasleem N.P and others on June 11
  • While seeking bail from the Court accused counsel had submitted that the seizure panchanama prepared by the police without registration of FIR was illegal.

Observation of Court

While rejecting the arguments of the accused counsel, Justice Sreenivas Harish Kumar observed that:

“In Lalita Kumari (supra), the focus is on the duty of a Station House Officer once he receives information about the commission of the offence that means the information should disclose a crime being already committed. And in such a situation, if the crime is cognizable, the Station House Officer is bound to register FIR without wasting time.”

The Court added,

“But the secret information does not disclose a crime being committed, it only alerts the police about a crime which is about to occur. The police officer who receives such information has to proceed to spot for preventing the crime or to take such other measures that the situation demands. Thereafter if he prepares a report, it may be treated as FIR for further course of action.”

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The further the court said:

“Sometimes, offences do take place in the presence of the police officers. In such a situation, his first duty is to arrest the accused and collect the evidence, and not the registration of FIR. In the case on hand what the police officer received was a report about the likelihood of offences under NDPS Act being committed, the informant only suspected possession of contraband substances, regarding which no FIR could be registered without ascertaining the truth in the information. The seizure panchanama discloses that the petitioners and other accused possessed contraband substance for the purpose of selling them. He seized the substances and made a report of the same. No error can be found in it.”

It said “it is necessary to state that the word ‘conscious’ is related with the mental state of a person and his knowledge about something. It does not take the attributes of physical possession. If a bag containing contraband is found in the house of the accused, it goes without saying that the first impression of an ordinarily prudent man is that the bag belongs to the accused and he must be aware of its contents. If he takes a stand that he was not aware of the contents, the burden is on him to establish it.”

The Court dismissed the petitions by stating that “In these petitions, there are prima facie materials against the petitioner, section 37 of the NDPS Act is very much attracted. Therefore, the petitions are dismissed.”

Case Title: Tasleem N.P @ And State of Karnataka

Case No: CRIMINAL PETITION No.3073 OF 2020

Coram: JUSTICE SREENIVAS HARISH KUMAR

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