Registration of FIR in cognisable offence is a must and action must be taken against police officials for not lodging a case in such offences, the Supreme Court held on Tuesday.
A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam said, "We hold registration of FIR is mandatory and no preliminary enquiry is permissible in cognisable offences."
The bench, also comprising justices B S Chauhan, Ranjan P Desai, Ranjan Gogoi and S A Bobde, said action must be taken against erring police officials for not registering FIR in cognisable offences.
"Police officials cannot avoid registering the FIR and action must be taken against them if no FIR is registered," the bench said.
It said that preliminary enquiry can be conducted in other cases to find out whether the offence is cognisable or not and such probe must be completed within seven days.
The bench said there is no ambiguity in the law and the legislative intent is for compulsory registration of FIR in cognisable offences.
The constitution bench delivered the verdict after a three-judge bench referred the case to the larger bench on the ground that there were conflicting judgements on the issue.