The Delhi High Court has directed the two lawyers seeking registration of FIR against a Station House Officer (SHO) for allegedly assaulting them to approach the proper forum of police or a magistrate’s court.
Justice R.V. Easwar asking the lawyers to go to superintendent of police and if that is not effective, then they have the right to file application before a magistrate.
The court’s direction came on a plea of two advocates Nikhil Mehta and Milan Malhotra, seeking registration of complaint and action against the SHO of Geeta Colony for abusing and assaulting them on the intervening night of May 1-2.
Justice Easwar in a recent judgement said: “On a careful consideration of the rival submissions, I am of the view that though there might be circumstances justifying the apprehensions of the petitioners due to the conduct of police during the incident, the proper remedy for them is to first approach the superintendent of police under Section 154(3) of the Cr.P.C.”
“If that is not effective, the petitioners then have the right to file an application before the magistrate under Section 156(3) of the Cr.P.C., under which the magistrate can direct the FIR filed by the petitioners to be registered and can also direct a proper investigation into the incident to be made, if the petitioners feel that no proper investigation was being made. I direct the petitioners accordingly.”
The court also relied upon a Supreme Court judgment, saying that the apex court has “deprecated the practice of rushing to the high court” with the grievance that the FIR was not being registered at the police station or a proper investigation was not being done by the police.
It also said the apex court discouraged the practice of rushing to a court with a prayer that the case should be investigated by the CBI.
“According to the Supreme Court, that can be done only in rare and exceptional cases, lest the CBI be flooded with a large number of cases making it impossible for them to properly investigate into the cases,” it said on petitioners’ one of the prayer to transfer of the case to CBI.
“I cannot help observing that with a little more tact from the side of the police, this unpleasant incident could have perhaps been avoided,” the court said disposing of the plea.
The advocates said that the incident occcurred on the intervening night of May 1-2 when they were sitting in their car, parked in front of Mehta’s house, and discussing about the matters listed before the court the following day.
They said the SHO, who was on patrol with two other police personnel, stopped his vehicle next to their car and without any provocation or reason, started using abusive and unparliamentary language against them.
The lawyers had alleged that the policemen, who were under the influence of liquor, also assaulted them physically.
Their plea had sought direction to the police commissioner for protecting the petitioners and their family members from the SHO and his companions as well as his subordinates from Geeta Colony police station.
The advocates had claimed that senior officers of Delhi Police, who were informed of the incident, were not taking action against the culprits but instead pressurizing them to settle the matter without insisting on any action under the law.