Monday, August 23, 2010

How HC FIRed away at courts, erring police officers

How HC FIRed away at courts, erring police officers

Aug 23 2010

This month, High Court issued a series of verdicts aimed at rectifying the judicial and police systems

Now that the Delhi High Court has entered the scene, lodging an FIR may become much easier for the common man. No longer will he have to run helter-skelter for getting the police to act on his complaint, or search for the right connections in the Capital’s officialdom to get the work done.

Striking a balance between its verdicts, the High Court also maintained that people caught in the wrong end of an FIR should not be subjected to undue harassment.

The court, in a string of rulings delivered in August, handed out a list of do’s and don’ts to the city police and lower courts, which reportedly resort to a “hyper-technical” approach while handling complaints.

Verbal complaint

The first landmark judgment in the series of recent verdicts came when Justice S N Dhingra held that a person need not essentially file a written complaint to get heard by a magistrate for registering an FIR. So, when a victim appears before a trial court and raises a complaint on the commission of an offence, the judge cannot dismiss his plea by saying he must first submit his complaint in writing and then produce the evidence and record his testimony. The High Court order obligates a magistrate to record the victim’s statement and order the police to probe into the matter after lodging an FIR, if the statement recounts a serious offence.

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