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Monday, November 29, 2010

RECORDING OF VOICE - PERMISSIBLE

THE HONOURABLE SRI JUSTICE SAMUDRALA GOVINDARAJULU                
CRIMINAL REVISION CASE NO.1219 OF 2010        


27-07-2010 


Y. Ranganadh Goud   


State rep. By the Public Prosecutor, High Court of AP., Hyderabad.


Counsel for the Petitioner : Sri C. Mastan Naidu


Counsel for the  Respondent:  Public Prosecutor


:ORDER:  


1.      The revision petitioner/A-1 is accused of offences punishable  under
Sections  417, 420, 376 and 506 IPC in Crime No.122 of 2009 of Ponnur Town 
Police Station.  The Sub Divisional  Police Officer, Bapatla filed petition
Criminal M.P.No.3250 of 2010 before the Additional Judicial Magistrate of the
First Class, Ponnur under Section 173 Cr.P.C requesting the court to record
original voice of the petitioner/A-1 and the victim before the court for
forwarding the same to Andhra Pradesh Forensic Science Laboratory, Hyderabad for 
comparison with a Compact  Disc (CD) allegedly  containing voices/conversations
of A-1 and the victim recorded by cell phone. This petition was opposed by A-1.
The lower court  by the impugned order dated 24.06.2010 allowed the petition
permitting to record original voices of A-1 and the victim in open court and
fixed a date.  As against the said order, A-1 filed the present revision
petition.


2.      Main contention put forward  by the petitioner's counsel in this revision
petition is that directing A-1 to give sample voice for the purpose of
comparison of the same with his alleged voice contained in a C.D, offends  A-1's
fundamental right under Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India and that
therefore, the lower court should not have passed the impugned order.  The
petitioner's counsel placed reliance on Vinod Kumar v. The State1 of the Delhi
High Court and H. Chandrashekhar v. Shafiq Ali Khan2 of the Karnataka High Court
in this regard.  In the former  decision, the Delhi High Court held that there
is nothing in the Evidence Act which even remotely suggests that the court has
power to call upon  a prosecution witness to get his sample voice recorded for
comparison with his disputed tape recorded voices and that neither Section 73 of
the Evidence Act provides for recording of sample voice for comparison nor under
Section 45 of the said Act, evidence of an expert on comparison of sample voice
with disputed one has been made admissible.  The Delhi High Court further held
that even the High Court in exercise of inherent power under Section 482 Cr.P.C
cannot direct the trial court to do so.  In the latter decision, the Karnataka
High Court held  that no person can be compelled to give his voice to be tested
in comparison of voice already recorded, following the view  taken  by the Delhi
High Court.


3.      The petitioner's counsel also placed reliance on State v. Taylor3 wherein
it was held that to compel a suspect  while in custody and prior to his trial,
to speak the very words a witness heard the offender speaking at the time of the
offence, so as to enable the witness to compare the voice of the suspect with
that of the offender and thereby, if possible, to identify the suspect, as being
the offender, and to admit in evidence at his trial on identification, is
violative of  his privilege against of 'self-incrimination'.


4.      On the other hand, it is contended by the Additional Public Prosecutor
that in case, the petitioner/A-1 is not willing to give his sample voice for the
purpose of comparison with voice contained in the C.D, then he may be  permitted
to do so subject to the lower court drawing adverse inference on his refusal to
give his sample voice.   The petitioner's counsel contended that  such drawing
of adverse inference in criminal law is not permissible.  The Additional Public
Prosecutor further contended that  recording sample voice of the accused in
court, does not violate  Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India.


5.      State of Bombay v. Kathi Kalu Oghad4  rendered by a Bench consisting of 11
Judges of the Supreme Court  has been the leading case on  Article 20(3) of the
Constitution of India.  While upholding  obtaining of specimen finger
impressions and specimen handwritings  from the accused person vis--vis Article
20(3) of the Constitution of India, the Supreme Court observed therein:


"It is well established that cl. (3) of Art. 20 is directed against self-
incrimination by an accused person. Self-incrimination must mean conveying
information based upon the personal knowledge of the person giving the
information and cannot include merely the mechanical process of producing
documents in court which may throw a light on any of the points in controversy,
but which do not contain any statement of the accused based on his personal
knowledge. For example, the accused person may be in possession of a document   
which is in his writing or which contains his signature or his thumb impression.
The production of such a document, with a view to comparison of the writing or
the signature or the impression, is not the statement of an accused person,
which can be said to be of the nature of a personal testimony. When an accused
person is called upon by the Court or any other authority holding an
investigation to give his finger impression or signature or a specimen of his
handwriting, he is not giving any testimony of the nature of a 'personal
testimony. ' The giving of a 'personal testimony' must depend upon his volition.
He can make any kind of statement or ay refuse to make any statement. But his 
finger impressions or his handwriting, in spite of efforts at concealing the
true nature of it by dissimulation cannot change their intrinsic character.
Thus, the giving of finger impressions or of specimen writing or of signatures
by an accused person, though it may amount to furnishing evidence in the larger
sense, is not included within the expression 'to be a witness. '


In order that a testimony by an accused person may be said to have been self-
incriminatory, the compulsion of which comes within the prohibition of the
constitutional provision, it must be of such a character that by itself it
should have the tendency of incriminating the accused, if not also of actually
doing so. In other words, it should be a statement which makes the case against
the accused person at least probable, considered by itself. A specimen
handwriting or signature or finger impressions by themselves are no testimony at
all, being wholly innocuous because they are unchangeable except in rare cases
where the ridges of the fingers or the style of writing have been tampered with.
They are only materials for comparison in order to lend assurance to the Court
that its inference based on other pieces of evidence is reliable. They are
neither oral nor documentary evidence but belong to the third category of
material evidence which is outside the limit of 'testimony. '"


6.      In Selvi v. State of Karnataka5 the Supreme Court made a distinction
between such materials  which are likely to lead to incrimination by themselves
and those materials which furnish a link in the chain of evidence which could
lead into the same result; and held that reliance on contents  of compelled
testimony comes within the prohibition of Article 20(3) of the Constitution of
India but it is not barred for the purpose of identification or corroboration
with the facts already noted by the investigators. The Supreme Court observed:


"136.  Since the majority decision in Kathi Kalu Oghad (4 supra) is the
controlling precedent, it will be useful to re-state the two main premises for
understanding the scope of 'testimonial compulsion'.  The first is that
ordinarily it is the oral or written statements which convey the personal
knowledge of a person in respect of relevant facts that amount  to 'personal
testimony' thereby coming within the prohibition contemplated by Article 20(3).
In most cases, such 'personal testimony' can be readily distinguished from
material evidence such as bodily substances and other physical objects.  The
second premise is that in some cases, oral or written statements can be relied
upon but only for the purpose of identification or comparison with facts and
materials that are already in the possession of the investigators.  The bar of
Article 20(3) can be invoked when the statements are likely to lead to
incrimination by themselves or 'furnish a link in the chain of evidence' needed
to do so. We must emphasize that a situation where a testimonial response is
used for comparison with facts already known to investigators is inherently
different from a situation where a testimonial response helps the investigators
to subsequently discover fresh facts or materials that could be relevant to the
ongoing investigation.
------------------------------------------------------------------      --------
----------------------------------------------------------


However, the compulsory extraction of material (or physical) evidence lies
outside the protective scope of Article 20(3).  Furthermore, even testimony in
oral or written form can be required under compulsion if it is to be used for
the purpose of identification or comparison with materials and information that
is already in the possession of investigators."


7.      If the facts in the present case are examined in the light of the above
pronouncements of the Apex Court, it is evident that the Sub Divisional Police
Officer, Bapatla is already in possession of a CD containing voices or
conversation  said to be between A-1 and the victim woman; and the investigating
officer wanted sample voice of A-1 and the victim to be recorded in court for
the purpose of making comparison of voices contained in the CD with the sample
voices recorded in open court.  This exercise of recording of sample voices of
A-1 and the victim in open court is not going to incriminate A-1 on the basis of
such sample voice, but only facilitates the investigating officer and the court
to identify voice contained in the CD which is already in possession of the
investigating officer.  By any stretch of imagination, the exercise of recording
sample voice of A-1 for the purpose of identifying the male voice already
contained in CD which is collected by the investigating officer during
investigation, cannot amount to testimonial compulsion which is prohibited under
Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India.


8.      This is not the stage to consider  about relevancy or admissibility or
evidentiary value of the talk contained in the CD and the expert's opinion on
comparison of that talk contained in the CD with sample voices to be recorded in
the lower court.  Those contentions are left open to be decided by the trial
court during recording of evidence and during final disposal of the case after
trial in case the police are going to file charge sheet.    Since  this Court
found that the proposed exercise of recording sample voices of the petitioner/A-
1 and the victim is not offended by Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India,
the lower court is at liberty to proceed towards  that exercise.


9.      In the result, the criminal revision petition is dismissed.


?1 1981 CRI.L.J.927 
2 2001(1) CCC 453 
3 213 SCt 330:49 SE 2nd 289  
4 1962 (3) SCR 10 
5 2010 AIR SCW 3011   

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BY SONS , AGAINST THE MOTHER - BEAUTIFUL JUDGEMENT

THE HONOURABLE SRI JUSTICE SAMUDRALA GOVINDARAJULU                
Criminal Revision Case No.1093 of  2010


06-07-2010 


Sikakollu Chandramohan and 2 others. 


Sikakollu Saraswathi Devi and another.


Counsel for the Petitioners : Sri G. Chandrasekhara Rao


Counsel for the 1st Respondent:  ----
Counsel for the 2nd respondent: Public Prosecutor


:ORDER:  


1.      The sons/petitioners 1 to 3 question judgment dated 18.05.2010 passed  by
the III Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge, Hyderabad in Criminal Appeal
No.7 of 2007 by which the lower appellate court confirmed order dated 20.10.2009
passed by the III Additional Chief Metropolitan  Magistrate, Hyderabad in
D.V.C.No.17 of 2007 granting maintenance  of Rs.75,000/- per month at the rate
of Rs.25,000/- by each of the sons and compensation of Rs.50,000/- from each of
the sons to the 1st respondent/mother.


2.      The 1st respondent  has got  three sons (who are the petitioners 1 to 3)
and five married daughters.  The 1st respondent was aged 76 years by the time
she filed Domestic Violence Case before the Magistrate. Her  husband Subbarao 
died in the year 1994.  Originally, the parties belonged to Singarayakonda of
Prakasam District.  Now the 1st respondent is residing at Hyderabad along with
her third daughter.  It is alleged that  the 1st respondent is suffering from
several ailments and that her health condition is deteriorating day-by-day.
Originally late Subba Rao established Coromandel Cements  Limited in which the
first respondent was also an Additional Director.  Now the petitioners changed
the company into Ckoromaandel Cements Limited. Under will dated 10.03.1991 of  
her husband,  the 1st respondent got several properties to the extent of 1/4th
share in the estate left by him.  It is alleged that the petitioners obtained
several signatures of the 1st respondent on several documents on the pretext  of
managing affairs of the company and also on several blank papers and empty stamp 
papers.  It is also further alleged  that the 1st respondent was deprived by the
petitioners of her immovable property, cash deposits, shares, 100 tolas of gold
jewellery and 10 kgs. of silver.  Originally the 1st respondent was residing
with the 2nd petitioner at Vijaywada.  There is no dispute that  in or about
May, 2006, the 1st respondent left the 2nd petitioner's house due to alleged
ill-treatment, cruelty, negligence etc. and began residing with one or the other
daughters.
        
3.      Having regard to date of separate living of the 1st respondent since May,
2006, it is contended by the Senior Counsel for the petitioners that since cause
of action took place prior to the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence
Act, 2005 (in short, the Act) coming into force, D.V.C.No.17 of 2007 does not
lie and that the Act is  prospective  in its operation  and not retrospective in
operation.  Though the Act was passed in the year 2005, it came into force on
26.10.2006 after the rules were framed thereunder.


4.      It is well settled principle of law that any substantive enactment is
prospective in nature unless specifically stated otherwise.   There is no
indication in the Act to hold that the Act is not prospective but retrospective
in operation.  But, simply because the Act is found to be prospective in
operation, it cannot be said that  provisions under the Act cannot be invoked in
case separation between the parties was prior to the Act coming into force.  It
has to be seen whether  the cause of action arose or cause of action continued
to exist even after the Act coming into force.


        Section 3 of the Act defines  domestic violence as follows:
"3. Definition of domestic violence:-


For the purposes of this Act, any act, omission or commission or conduct of the
respondent shall constitute domestic violence in case it :-
(a) harms or injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb or well-being,
whether mental or physical, of the aggrieved person or tends to do so and
includes causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse and
economic abuse; or 


(b) harasses, harms, injuries or endangers the aggrieved person with a view to
coerce her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any
dowry or other property or valuable security; or


(c) has the effect of threatening the aggrieved person or any person related to
her by any conduct mentioned in clause (a) or clause (b); or


(d) otherwise injures or causes harm, whether physical or mental, to the
aggrieved person.


Explanation I:-For the purposes of this section, -


(i) "physical abuse" means any act or conduct which is
of such a nature as to cause bodily pain, harm, or danger to life, limb, or
health or impair the health or development of the aggrieved person and includes
assault, criminal intimidation and criminal force;


(ii) "sexual abuse" includes any conduct of a sexual nature that abuses,
humiliates, degrades or otherwise violates the dignity of woman;


(iii) "verbal and emotional abuse" includes :-
(a) insults, ridicule, humiliation, name calling and insults or ridicule
specially with regard to not having a child or a male child; and


(b) repeated threats to cause physical pain to any person in whom the aggrieved
person is interested.


(iv) "economic abuse" includes :-


(a) deprivation of all or any economic or financial resources to which the
aggrieved person is entitled under any law or custom whether payable under an
order of a court or otherwise or which the aggrieved person requires out of
necessity including, but not limited to, household necessities for the aggrieved
person and her children, if any, stridhan, property, jointly or separately owned
by the aggrieved person, payment of rental related to the shared household and
maintenance; 


(b) disposal of household effects, any alienation of assets whether movable or
immovable, valuables, shares, securities, bonds and the like or other property
in which the aggrieved person has an interest or is entitled to use by virtue of
the domestic relationship or which may be reasonably required by the aggrieved
person or her children or her stridhan or any other property jointly or
separately held by the aggrieved person; and


(c) prohibition or restriction to continued access to resources or facilities
which the aggrieved person is entitled to use or enjoy by virtue of the domestic
relationship including access to the shared household.


Explanation II:- For the purpose of determining whether any act, omission,
commission or conduct of the respondent constitutes "domestic violence" under
this section, the overall facts and circumstances of the case shall be taken
into consideration."


The above definition  includes  physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and
emotional abuse and also economic abuse within the meaning of domestic violence. 
When there was separation between the parties prior to the Act came into force,
there  may not be possibility of physical abuse; but, there may be possibility
of verbal and emotional abuse and economic abuse.  As per Clause(iv) of
Explanation-I to Section 3 of the Act, economic abuse includes deprivation of
all or any economic or financial resources to which the aggrieved person is
entitled  under any law or custom, and requires  out of necessity.  Even though
separation between the parties  was prior to the Act  coming into force, still
economic abuse by way of deprivation of the aggrieved person of right to
residence and right to maintenance etc., would continue  both before and after
the Act coming into force. In that view of the matter, it cannot be said that
the mother/1st  respondent has no cause of action to maintain domestic violence
case against the petitioners after the Act coming into force.


5.      The 1st respondent previously filed maintenance case in OP No.202 of 2007
before the Judge, Family Court, Visakhapatnam and obtained order of interim
maintenance under Section 125 Cr.P.C against the petitioners 1 to 3 to an extent
of Rs.25,000/- per month.  Apart from the said interim maintenance of
Rs.25,000/- per month, both the courts below granted Rs.75,000/- per month from
the petitioners 1 to 3 at the rate of  Rs.25,000/- per month each.  Grant of
interim maintenance by the Family Court under Section 125 Cr.P.C is no bar for
granting monetary relief under Section 20 of the Act by way of further
maintenance amount over and above granted by the Family Court under Section 125  
Cr.P.C. Section 20(1)(d) of the Act provides for granting relief of maintenance
to the aggrieved person in addition to an order of maintenance under Section 125
Cr.P.C or any other law for the time being in force.  So, it has to be seen
whether there is any justification for grant of the above maintenance by the
Courts below under Section 20 of the Act.  As per Section20(2) of the Act,
monetary relief granted thereunder should be adequate, fair and reasonable and
consistent  with the standard of living to which the aggrieved person is
accustomed.  The 2nd respondent is widow of  founder of Coromaandel Cements  
Limited company and she was also an Additional Director in that company when her 
husband was  alive and thereafter until,  according to her, she  was deprived of
that position by obtaining her signatures on several documents.  The documents
executed by the 2nd respondent  are subject-matter of civil suits and the
litigation went upto the Supreme Court.  There is no dispute that the
petitioners 1 to 3 as Chairman, full time Director and Managing Director of
CKoromaandel Cements Limited are drawing salaries or emoluments from the company    
to the extent of Rs.8,00,000/- per month each.  Having regard to status of the
parties and need of the petitioner who is aged about 80 years and her health
condition and medical needs, it cannot be said that a sum of Rs.1,00,000/- per
month (including interim maintenance granted by the Family Court under Section
125 Cr.P.C) is in no way excessive or unreasonable and unjust.  It is contended
by the Senior Counsel appearing for the petitioners that the 2nd respondent can
have monetary compensation of Rs.50,000/- from each of the petitioners as per
orders of the courts below and that the 1st  respondent wanted to extract money
at the rate of Rs.1,00,000/- per month from the petitioners 1 to 3 with a view
to give the same to her daughters.  Naturally, when the 1st respondent is taking
shelter in daughter's house and is taking food and getting assistance to her  in
daughter's house, the 1st respondent may part with some of the cash to her
daughter  or daughters who attend on her and provide her personal and medical
needs.  Having regard to status of the parties, in case of any hospitalisation,
the 1st respondent may not go to a Government hospital or a third rate private
hospital, but she may prefer to go and take treatment from Corporate hospitals
having super speciality facilities, which may charge even  more than Rs.5,000/-
per day.  Having regard to  background of family of the parties and requirements
of the 2nd respondent, this Court is of the opinion that amount of maintenance
awarded by the courts below at Rs.25,000/- per month from each of the
petitioners  is highly reasonable.


6.      It is contended by the Senior Counsel for the petitioners  that the 2nd
respondent as P.W.1 in cross-examination deposed  that it was only the 2nd
petitioner who committed domestic violence against her  and not the petitioners
1 and 3.  One cannot expect the 2nd respondent to know definition of domestic
violence with all its explanations contained in Section 3 of the Act.  What
P.W.1 stated was physical abuse and mental abuse when she referred to domestic  
violence.  But, as per  law, domestic violence includes economic abuse also,
which further includes deprivation of any economic or financial resources to
which she is entitled under any law or custom.  Therefore, the evidence of P.W.1
in her cross-examination cannot have   any bearing in determining existence of
domestic violence in this case as per law and as per definition contained under
Section3 of the Act.  Therefore, this Court  has no hesitation to hold that the
petitioners 1 to 3 are guilty of domestic violence against the 1st respondent
and that the courts below rightly granted monetary relief by way of maintenance
and also compensation in favour of the 1st respondent against the petitioners 1
to 3.


7.      In the result, the revision case is dismissed.

IN ALL COGNIZABLE CASES - POLICE MUST REGISTER F.I.R.

THE HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE C.V.NAGARJUNA REDDY           
Writ Petition Nos.9210 of 2007 and 27524 of 2009


23-08-2010 


W.P.No.9210 of 2007  
Sammeta Laxman    


The Government of A.P., rep., by its
Principal Secretary, Dept., of Home,
Hyderabad & others. 


Counsel for the petitioner: Sri Ammaji Nettam for
(in WP.No.27524 of 2009) Sri K. Sai Krishna Mohan Rao  


Counsel for respondents 1&2:   AGP for Home  
(in WP.No.27524 of 2009) 
Counsel for respondent No.3:  Sri D. Jagan Mohan Reddy 
(in WP.No.27524 of 2009) 


:COMMON JUDGMENT:       
        
        The short, but the vexed question, which is a breeding ground for needless
litigation arising in these cases is whether the police officer has any
discretion not to register the case after entering the substance of the
complaint in the prescribed book (general diary), even though the contents of
the information received by him disclose commission of cognizable
offence/offences?
        Before addressing this question, the facts in each of these two writ
petitions are separately stated hereunder:
W.P.No.9210 of 2007  
        There appeared to be matrimonial disputes between the petitioner's son and
his daughter-in-law.  The latter allegedly approached respondent No.5, who at
the time was the Sub-Inspector of Police and Station House Officer of Gangadhara
Police Station, Karimnagar District.  The petitioner alleged that at the
instance of his daughter-in-law, respondent No.5 used to call him and his family
members to the police station daily and abuse in filthy language without
registering any case against them.  That on 10.01.2007 at 12 noon, respondent
No.5 called the petitioner and his family members to the police station, beat
them up indiscriminately with a stick and that in that process the petitioner
sustained a bleeding injury inside his left eye, following breaking of his
optical.  The petitioner alleged that initially the police have taken him to a
RMP doctor by name Mallesham at Gangadhara for first aid and that on the next
day he was shifted to the Government Civil Hospital, Karimnagar, which in turn
referred the petitioner to Dr. Harikishan Eye Hospital, Karimnagar.  The
petitioner has allegedly undergone an operation on his left eye costing
Rs.15,000/-.  The petitioner is stated to have consulted the doctors at L.V.
Prasad Eye Hospital, Hyderabad on the advise of Dr. Harikishan, who estimated
the cost of further treatment at Rs.50,000/- and the petitioner could not take
the said treatment in view of his poverty.  The petitioner has pleaded that he
and his caste elders have approached respondent No.3 with a complaint against
respondent No.5 and the former has referred the complaint to respondent No.4.
He further alleged that thereafter respondent No.5 approached the petitioner and
the caste elders Sri Sridhar and Sri Eligati Kishan and promised that he will
provide treatment to the petitioner.  The grievance of the petitioner is that
despite written complaint dated 12.01.2007 given to respondent No.3, which
allegedly discloses commission of offences under Sections 326 and 506 IPC, no
case has been registered against respondent No.5.
        In support of his pleadings, the petitioner filed a copy of the written
report dated 12.01.2007 given by the President, District Barbers Service
Society, Karimnagar District, the medical prescriptions and the bills.  The
petitioner also filed a copy of his photograph showing his left eye being closed
with a bandage.
        Separate counter affidavits have been filed by respondent No.4, the Sub
Divisional Police Officer (for short, 'SDPO'), Peddapally Division, Karimnagar
District and respondent No.5, Station House Officer, against whom the report was
lodged by the petitioner.
        In his counter affidavit, the SDPO stated that he has assumed charge on
18.04.2010 and averred that on receiving the complaint against respondent No.5,
respondent No.2 has referred the same to the then SDPO, Peddpally on 12.01.2007  
to conduct an enquiry into the allegations and submit a report, that the said
SDPO after detailed enquiry submitted a report on 13.06.2007 which revealed that
the petitioner expecting that his daughter-in-law may give a complaint against
him and his family members and to pre-empt police action, has hatched a plan by
foisting a false complaint against respondent No.5.  The SDPO is stated to have
enquired with Dr. Harikishan, Eye Specialist and Dr. Mallesham, RMP and found
the allegations made by the petitioner against respondent No.5 as false and that
on receipt of the said report, respondent No.3 dropped further action, as the
allegations were found false and baseless.  Similar was the vein in which the
counter affidavit of respondent No.5 has proceeded. He has denied his
involvement in the alleged incident and professed absolute innocence.
W.P.No.27254 of 2009:  
        Petitioner No.1 is the daughter of petitioner No.2.  She is stated to have
sold her flat on the fourth floor of Anuradha Apartments, Barkathpura, Hyderabad
to respondent No.3 while she along with her father used to reside in the pent
house portion of the same apartments.  It is her case that due to illness of her
mother, who was admitted as an inpatient in Apollo Hospital, Jubilee Hills and
also in Kamineni Hospital at L.B. Nagar, her father and mother were staying at a
different place while she and her son were staying at her house.  Allegedly
being disturbed by the indecent overtures of respondent No.3, petitioner No.1 is
stated to have locked the pent house and been staying with her parents.  That
after being away to Vijayawada for four days, when petitioner No.1 came back on
20.07.2009 and visited her pent house at 7 p.m., she found her belongings kept
in the pent house stolen and the locks of the door broken open with respondent
No.3 found in the company of five of his friends taking liquor.  When petitioner
No.1 allegedly questioned the said action of respondent No.3, he is stated to
have abused her in a vulgar and indecent language and tried to beat her and that
respondent No.3 allegedly asked the watchman to throw her out of the complex.
Petitioner No.1 has given details of the various documents, certificates, sarees
and other dresses, jewelry, furniture, T.V. etc., estimated to be worth around
Rs.50 lakhs allegedly stolen by respondent No.3.  Petitioner No.1 approached
respondent No.2 with a written report on 27.07.2009, which, the latter refused
to receive.  Thereafter, she along with petitioner No.2 gave a representation on
28.07.2009 to respondent No.1, who directed the DCP, East Zone, to take
appropriate action.  The grievance of the petitioner is that no action has been
taken so far even though respondent No.3 allegedly grabbed the property worth
around Rs.70 lakhs for her failure to repay the loan amount of Rs.15 lakhs by
trespassing into the property, breaking open the locks and stealing the property
worth around Rs.50 lakhs.
        Separate counter affidavits have been filed by respondent Nos.2 and 3.
        In his counter affidavit, the Inspector of Police, Kachiguda Police
Station, Hyderabad, admitted that the petitioners have lodged a complaint on
27.07.2009 on the allegation that respondent No.3 has occupied their pent house
by breaking open the locks and stolen the items mentioned in the complaint.  As
the dispute prima facie appeared to be civil in nature, a preliminary enquiry
was conducted into the allegations, which revealed that the petitioners were the
owners of flats bearing Nos.403-A (fourth floor) and   403-B (pent house) of
Anuradha Apartments, Barkathpura, that petitioner No.1 sold flat No.403-A to
respondent No.3 for a consideration of Rs.10 lakhs under registered sale deed
dated 28.09.2006 and sold the pent house for a similar consideration under
registered sale deed dated 30.11.2007 and handed over physical possession of the
same to respondent No.3.  That after delivering possession, the petitioners are
staying somewhere in Srinagar Colony and that the enquiry revealed that the
contents of complaint dated 27.07.2009 are false.  He has denied the allegation
that petitioner No.1 went to the pent house at 7 p.m. on 20.07.2009 as false and
contrary to the version of the neighbours recorded during the enquiry.  It is
further stated that petitioner No.2 has mortgaged the title deeds of the
property with the Indian Bank, ARM Branch and concealed the said fact from
respondent No.3 and that the latter filed Writ Petition No.276 of 2009 against
the Indian Bank questioning the auction notice issued by it and a Division Bench
of this Court disposed of the said writ petition on 06.07.2009.  He has further
deposed that the enquiry revealed that all the allegations contained in the
complaint were false.  Respondent No.2 also filed a copy of Agreement of Sale-
cum-General Power of Attorney given by petitioner No.2 in favour of respondent
No.3 to substantiate his plea that the petitioners have sold the property to
respondent No.3. 
        In his counter affidavit, respondent No.3 pleaded that he has become the
absolute owner of the pent house, which was sold by the petitioners under a
registered sale deed and Agreement of sale-cum-General Power of Attorney and 
that the petitioners have delivered possession of the property and have come out
with blatantly false pleas.
        At the hearing, the learned counsel for the petitioners have contended
that the police have failed to discharge their statutory duty cast on them under
the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (for short, "the Code").
They contended that the stand taken by the police in both these cases that they
did not register the cases basing on the finding in the preliminary enquiries
that the allegations contained in the complaint are false does not stand
scrutiny of Sections 154 and 156 of the Code.  They have further submitted that
the police have neither power to hold a preliminary enquiry nor are entitled to
refuse registration of the FIR on the ground that the allegations contained
therein are found false.
        Smt. Rachana Waddepally, learned Assistant Government Pleader for Home,   
made a strong bid to sustain the procedure followed by the police and their
refusal to register the cases.  According to her, Section 154 of the Code vests
discretion in the police to refuse to register the FIR, if they do not have the
reason to believe that the offences, as alleged in the report lodged with them,
have not been committed. 
        Sri D. Jaganmohan Reddy appearing for respondent No.3 in WP.No.27524 of   
2009 supported the submissions of the learned Assistant Government Pleader. 
        I have given my earnest consideration to the respective submissions of the
learned counsel.  Chapter XII of the Code deals with information to the police
and their powers to investigate.  Section 154 deals with information in
cognizable cases, Section 155 pertains to non-cognizable cases and investigation
of such cases, Section 156 empowers the police officers to investigate
cognizable offences and Section 157 envisages procedure for investigation.  For
proper appreciation of the scope of these provisions, it is useful to reproduce
them hereinbelow: 
"154. Information in cognizable cases: (1) Every information relating to the
commission of a cognizable offence, if given orally to an officer in-charge of a
police station, shall be reduced to writing by him or under his direction, and
be read over to the informant; and every such information, whether given in
writing or reduced to writing as aforesaid, shall be signed by the person giving
it, and the substance thereof shall be entered in a book to be kept by such
officer in such form as the State Government may prescribe in this behalf.


(2) A copy of the information as recorded under sub-section (1) shall be given
forthwith, free of cost, to the informant.


(3) Any person, aggrieved by a refusal on the part of an officer in-charge of a
police station to record the information referred to in sub-section (1) may send
the substance of such information, in writing and by post, to the Superintendent
of Police concerned who, if satisfied that such information discloses the
commission of a cognizable offence, shall either investigate the case himself or
direct an investigation to be made by any police officer subordinate to him, in
the manner provided by this Code, and such officer shall have all the powers of
an officer in-charge of the police station in relation to that offence.


155. Information as to non-cognizable cases and investigation of such cases:-
(1) When information is given to an officer in-charge of a police station of the
commission within the limits of such station of a non-cognizable offence, he
shall enter or cause to be entered the substance of the information in a book to
be kept by such officer in such form as the State Government may prescribe in
this behalf and refer the informant to the Magistrate.


(2) No police officer shall investigate a non-cognizable case without the order
of a Magistrate having power to try such case or commit the case for trial.


(3) Any police officer receiving such order may exercise the same powers in
respect of the investigation (except the power to arrest without warrant) as an
officer in-charge of a police station may exercise in a cognizable case.


(4) Where a case relates to two or more offences of which at least one is
cognizable, the case shall be deemed to be a cognizable case, notwithstanding
that the other offences are non-cognizable.


156. Police officer's power to investigate cognizable case:- (1) Any officer in-
charge of a police station may, without the order of a Magistrate, investigate
any cognizable case which a Court having jurisdiction over the local area within
the limits of such station would have power to inquire into or try under the
provisions of Chapter XIII.


(2) No proceeding of a police officer in any such case shall at any stage be
called in question on the ground that the case was one which such officer was
not empowered under this section to investigate.


(3) Any Magistrate empowered under Section 190 may order such an investigation 
as above-mentioned. 


157. Procedure for Investigation:- (1) If, from information received or
otherwise, an officer in-charge of a police station has reason to suspect the
commission of an offence which he Is empowered under Section 156 to investigate,
he shall forthwith send a report of the same to a Magistrate empowered to take
cognizance of such offence upon a police report and shall proceed in person, or
shall depute one of his subordinate officers not being below such rank as the
State Government may, by general or special order, prescribe in this behalf, to
proceed, to the spot, to investigate the facts and circumstances of the case,
and, if necessary, to take measures for the discovery and arrest of the offender
:


Provided that-
        (a) when information as to the commission of any such offence is given
against any person by name and the case is not of a serious nature, the officer
in-charge of a police station need not proceed in person or depute a subordinate
officer to make an investigation on the spot;


        (b) if it appears to the officer in-charge of a police station that there
is no sufficient ground for entering on an investigation, he shall not
investigate the case.


(2) In each of the cases mentioned in Clauses (a) and (b) of the proviso to sub-
section (1), the officer in-charge of the police station shall state in his
report his reasons for not fully complying with the requirements to that sub-
section, and, in the case mentioned in Clause (b) of the said proviso, the
officer shall also forthwith notify to the informant, if any, in such manner as
may be prescribed by the State Government, the fact that he will not investigate
the case or cause it to be investigated."
        
        A brief analysis of the above provisions would reveal that Section 154(1)
makes it obligatory for a police officer in-charge of a police station to
receive the information given in writing or to reduce to writing the information
if given orally and enter the substance thereof in a book to be kept by the
officer concerned in the form prescribed by the State Government.  Under Section
156, the officer in-charge of a police station is empowered to investigate any
cognizable case without the order of the jurisdictional Magistrate.  Under
Section 157, if the police officer has reason to suspect the commission of an
offence, he shall forthwith send a report to the jurisdictional Magistrate,
start investigation and if necessary take all the measures for discovery and
arrest of the offender.
        A conjoint reading of the abovementioned provisions would further disclose
that the duty of the police officer varies depending upon the nature of the
information he receives.  If he receives information relating to the commission
of a cognizable offence, he has to immediately enter the substance of the same
in the prescribed book and commence investigation without the order of the
Magistrate.  If the information pertains to a non-cognizable case, upon entering
the substance thereof in the prescribed book, he shall refer the informant to
the Magistrate and shall not proceed with the investigation without the order of
the Magistrate.  The scope of these provisions was in fact considered in a slew
of authorities, a few of which are discussed hereunder.
        A leading judgment on this aspect is of the Apex Court in State of Haryana
vs. Bhajan Lal1 wherein it has been unequivocally laid down that the police
officer concerned cannot embark upon an enquiry as to whether the information
laid by the informant is reliable and genuine or otherwise and refuse to
register a case on the ground that the same is not reliable or credible.  The
Court further held that the officer in-charge of a police station is statutorily
obliged to register a case and then to proceed with the investigation, if he has
reason to suspect the commission of an offence subject to the proviso to Section
157.  In paragraph 33, the Apex Court held as under:
"It is, therefore, manifestly clear that if any information disclosing a
cognizable offence is laid before an officer in-charge of a police station
satisfying the requirements of Section 154(1) of the Code, the said police
officer has no other option except to enter the substance thereof in the
prescribed form, that is to say, to register a case on the basis of such
information."
        
        In arriving at the above conclusion the Supreme Court has contrasted
Section 154(1) with Section 41(1)(a) or (g) of the Code and held that unlike in
the latter provision, which used the expressions "reasonable complaint" and
"credible information", the word 'information' in Section 154(1) is not hedged
with any qualification and that therefore reasonableness or credibility of the
information is not a condition precedent for registration of a case.  The Court
has succinctly summed up the issue as under: 
        "An overall reading of the codes makes it clear that the condition, which
is sine qua non for recording a first information report is that there must be
an information and that information must disclose a cognizable offence." (para
32)


        In Ramesh Kumari vs. State (N.C.T. of Delhi)2 the Supreme Court, while
following the above dicta, held as under:
        "The views expressed by this Court in paragraphs 31, 32 and 33 as quoted
above leave no manners of doubt that the provision of Section 154 of the Code is
mandatory and the concerned officer is duty bound to register the case on the
basis of such an information disclosing cognizable offence."


        The Supreme Court had another occasion to deal with an identical situation
in Prakash Singh Badal and another vs. State of Punjab and others3 wherein a two
Judge Bench, while restating the above legal position, held in paragraph 68 as
under:
        "It is, therefore, manifestly clear that if any information disclosing a
cognizable offence is laid before an officer in charge of a police station
satisfying the requirements of Section 154(1) of the Code, the said police
officer has no other option except to enter the substance thereof in the
prescribed form, that is to say, to register a case on the basis of such
information."


        The learned Assistant Government Pleader, by placing reliance on the words
"an officer in-charge of a police station has reason to suspect the commission
of an offence" in Section 157, submitted with conviction that unless the police
officer suspects commission of an offence, he need not register the FIR and
investigate the offence.  I find this submission wholly without merit.
        A close comparison of Section 154(1) with Section 157(1) would reveal that
the abovementioned words in Section 157 are conspicuously absent in Section 
154(1), which necessarily means that while it is obligatory and incumbent upon
the police officer of a police station concerned to register the case if the
information discloses commission of a cognizable offence, a certain amount of
discretion is vested in the police officer in the matter of investigation after
registration of the case.  Before commencing the investigation, the police
officer should have reason to suspect the commission of offence.  Under clause
(b) of proviso to Section 157(1) if it appears to the police officer that there
is no sufficient ground for entering on an investigation, he shall not
investigate the same.  But, however, he shall state in his report his reasons
therefor apart from notifying to the informant the fact that he will not
investigate the case or cause it to be investigated.
        That the scope of Section 154(1) is properly understood by the State
Government is evident from the A.P. Police Manual (for short, "the Manual").
Sub-clauses (2) and (3) of Para 409-1 under Chapter 21 of the Manual reads as
under:
"2.     Section 154 Cr.P.C. lays down that when an officer incharge of a police
station receives information relating to commission of cognizable offence he
shall record it verbatim and enter the same in a printed form.  If the
information is given orally, it should be reduced into writing by him or by his
subordinate under his direction and secure the signature or thumb impression of
the informant.  The information so reduced shall be read over to the informant.
After entering the information in the printed form it shall be registered First
Information Report (FIR) under appropriate sections of law.  A copy of the FIR
after registration shall be furnished to the informant free of cost.  Refusal to
register the information about a cognizable offence is punishable under Section
217 IPC.  The informant can send the information even by post to the SP of the
District who shall register the same as an FIR himself or get it registered if
he is satisfied that the contents show a cognizable offence and investigate or
direct any subordinate to investigate.  The SP also may cause an enquiry against
the officer who refused to register and take appropriate action.  The brief
contents of the FIR shall be entered in the General Diary (GD). (Emphasis
added).


3.      Information relating to the cognizable offences should be registered even
if they are presented in a police station not having jurisdiction and such
registration should not be refused on the point of jurisdiction.  After
registration, it should be transferred to the concerned police station. This
type of prompt action will save not only delay in the registration of FIR, but
also prevent inconvenience to the informant.  In addition, the police station
where FIR is registered, to begin with, can initiate action without loss of
time."


        Sub-clause (9), which to my mind has some bearing on the issue, is
reproduced below: 
        "A vague rumor should be distinguished from an oral report and should not
be reduced into writing but entered in the G.D.  When the information is well
founded after immediate enquiry by the SHO about its authenticity, the report
should be obtained and the case registered."


        The provisions of the Manual, referred to above, thus clearly reflect the
legislative intent pertaining to the registration of the FIR and sub-clauses (2)
and (3) give no scope whatsoever for the police officer to embark upon an
enquiry to know the truth or otherwise of the allegations contained in the
information received by him before registering the FIR.  What obviously seems to
have been operating in the mind of the police is sub-clause (9), which gives
some scope for the Station House Officer to hold an enquiry.  But, as could be
seen from the said clause, only in cases of vague rumors that the Station House
Officer is authorized to hold an enquiry to ascertain its authenticity.  Except
this clause, even the Police Manual does not provide for any enquiry by the
police officer before registering a case on the basis of the information
relating to commission of a cognizable offence.  Indeed, the Manual has gone to
the extent of reminding the police that refusal to register the information
about a cognizable offence is punishable under Section 217 IPC.
        From the discussion undertaken above, the inescapable conclusions that
emerge are that Section 154(1) mandates the police officer in-charge of a police
station to register FIR, if he receives information relating to commission of a
cognizable offence.  He is not vested with any discretion whether to register or
not to register a case.  Prior enquiry for registration of FIR is a concept
alien to the procedure adumbrated under the Code.  The police officer cannot
hold such an enquiry to ascertain the truth, credibility or otherwise of the
allegations contained in the information.  After registering the case, the
police officer is bound to follow the procedure prescribed under Section 157.
As prescribed in the Manual, refusal to register a case pertaining to commission
of a cognizable offence constitutes an offence under Section 217 IPC (Public
servant disobeying direction of law with intent to save person from punishment
or property from forfeiture).
        In the light of the above findings, let me examine whether in each of
these two cases the police have followed the procedure envisaged by the Code.
        In either of these cases, it is not the pleaded case of the police that
the contents of the reports lodged by the petitioners do not disclose commission
of cognizable offences.  However, in both these cases, the police have embarked
upon enquiries to find out the truth or otherwise of the allegations contained
in the reports.  Such a course is clearly impermissible.  In Writ Petition
No.9210 of 2007 there is an obvious attempt to shield respondent No.5.  What is
more surprising is that an officer of the rank of the Superintendent of Police
has ordered an enquiry to be held by the SDPO as evident from the endorsement 
contained on the copy of the complaint.  In doing so, either respondent No.3 has
not understood the true scope and purport of Section 154 or acted in defiance
thereof.
        Indeed, a similar situation has emerged in the past where this Court has
taken a serious exception to non-registration of the FIR on a report lodged by
the owner of an Auto alleging its theft (Md. Sikander Khan vs. Government of
A.P., and others4).  The facts of the case in brief are as under:
        The registered owner of an Auto bearing No.AP 13W 4047, who is a resident
of Golkonda, Hyderabad, lodged a report in the Golkonda Police Station that when
he has parked his Auto in front of his house he found the vehicle missing the
next morning, that his enquiries revealed that the Auto was stolen by one
Nushrat Hussain son of an employee of the Secretariat in the finance department
to whom the former allegedly owed Rs.5,000/- and that after the registered owner
failed to convince the said Nushrat Hussain to return the Auto, he lodged the
report.  As no case was registered, the registered owner filed Writ Petition
No.2940 of 2006.  A day after the writ petition was entertained by this Court
and notice was ordered, a case was registered.  Taking a serious view of non-
registration of the case for about 45 days, the Court directed the Principal
Secretary, Home Department to file an affidavit, stating the reasons for non-
registration of complaint dated 07.01.2006 till 17.02.2006.  Accordingly, an
affidavit was field wherein it was stated that the enquiry conducted by the DCP
revealed that as the offence alleged was cognizable in nature, the officer
concerned ought to have registered the complaint.  Raghuram, J., while taking
exception to the conclusion drawn by the DCP implying that at best there was an
error of the judgment of the Inspector and                     Sub-Inspector of
Police, Golkonda, that led to the non-registering of the complaint, observed as
under:
        "The conclusions recorded in the report of the DCP implying that at best
there was an error of judgment of the Inspector and Sub-Inspector of Police,
Golconda, that led to the non-registering of the complaint, suggests a collapse
of even minimal standards of supervisory and administrative efficiency. No
person even minimally conversant with the provisions of Criminal Law substantive
and procedural, could have entertained a doubt whether the petitioner's
complaints dated 3-1-06 and 7-1-06 made out a cognizable offence. In fact in his
own language the petitioner in para-2 of the complaint specifically alleges
"stealing my auto." If despite the clear allegation in the complaint the Sub-
Inspector and Circle Inspector entertained a doubt whether a cognizable offence
was made out, it was certainly an instance where the DCP, if he did not share
the same level of ignorance of law, ought to have concluded either that the SI
and CI concerned were so incompetent and ill-informed about the relevant legal
provisions as to be unfit to be in-charge of police administration or should
have compellingly inferred that they had abdicated their statutory
responsibilities consciously. In either even the report of the DCP should have
recommended to the Commissioner of Police and for onward transmission to the 1st 
respondent, appropriate action against these officers and for detoxifying the
system." (Emphasis added).  


        The learned Judge has also taken a serious view of the lapse of the
Assistant Commissioner of Police in failing to perform his obligation under the
Code.  This Court has taken judicial notice of the fact that on an average 5 to
6 writ petitions were being filed on every working day complaining of the
inaction of the police in registering the complaints disclosing commission of
cognizable offences and observed:
        "This Case merely illustrates the general complaint that the police force
at the critical levels of police stations have liberated themselves from the
discipline of law and fidelity to obligations under the Code of Criminal
Procedure.  Such rank indiscipline appears also to receive support and
protection by the higher echelons of police administration as illustrated by the
report of the DCP. This pathetic insensitivity to the requirement of
unquestioned compliance with the legislative commands and by the police, fosters
anarchy in our Republic." (Emphasis added).


        Finding that the petitioner therein has suffered a clear injury as a
direct consequence of the illegal conduct of the police officers, the learned
Judge saddled the State with costs of Rs.10,000/- with liberty, however, to the
State to identify the officer/officers responsible for the injury to the
petitioner therein and acting in defiance of legislative mandate and recover the
costs from them.
        Is not the above judgment enough reproach of the police administration at
the rudimentary level and has not created a precious opportunity to it to set
its house in order?  Regrettably, it has turned out not to be so.  The writ
petitions complaining of non-registration of cases are continuing unabated, nay,
its number is on the rise.  It requires no reiteration that in a society wedded
to the constitutionalism and democratic principles of governance, the legitimate
grievances of a common man shall not be allowed to remain a cry in the
wilderness.  While the executive does not need to be reminded of their basic
duties, even when it is done so by the Constitutional Courts when situations
impelled them, the former does not appear to be taking the wake up calls,
leading to a situation where they are repeating the same illegalities again and
again.  A trend of late is clearly noticeable that the precedential value of the
Courts' verdicts rendered in public law field are treated as confined to the
cases in particular in which they are given.  Are observations made and findings
rendered while disposing of the cases involving issues of general public
importance intended to be mere incantations? Certainly not.  The higher
administrative echelons need to show far greater degree of sensitivity to the
views of the Constitutional Courts to prevent repetition of illegalities.  They
would also do well to realize that their duty does not end with issuing
executive instructions or administrative circulars, but extends to ensuring
their implementation in letter and spirit.
        Whatever Section 154 of the Code envisages is reflected in the Manual
referred to above.  What troubles the mind of this Court is when the position is
so clearly stated in the Manual, where is the room for the police personnel at
the ground level to continue to defy the law; that how the superior officers are
condoning the faults committed and repeated by their subordinates time and
again?  Are the higher officials yielding to the temptation of protecting their
erring subordinates instead of showing absolute loyalty to the Constitution, the
suprema LEX and the Laws operating under its fold?  Did no unit head ever find
one instance of the Station House Officer failing to register a case and, if so,
whether any Station House Officer was prosecuted for the offence under Section
217 IPC? 
        Sri D. Jagan Mohan Reddy, the learned counsel appearing for respondent
No.3 in Writ Petition No.27524 of 2009 while fairly conceding that if the
complaint disclosed commission of a cognizable offence, the police should have
registered a criminal case, however, made an effort to persuade this Court to
throw out the writ petition on the ground of availability of an alternative
remedy under Section 190 read with Section 200 of the Code (private complaint
before the Magistrate).  This submission is based on para 25 of the judgment of
the Supreme Court in Sakiri Vasu vs. State of Uttar Pradesh and others5.
        It is no doubt true that in order to lessen the burden on the writ Courts,
the Supreme Court has been holding that in view of availability of alternative
remedies envisaged under Section 154(3) of the Code (approaching the
Superintendent of Police) and also by way of a private complaint under Section
190 read with Section 200 of the Code, the writ is not a proper remedy.  But,
this Court cannot be oblivious of the proliferating litigation clogging the
functioning of the Courts.  In this scenario, the real question is whether a
citizen shall be forced to resort to a remedy at all?  If not a writ petition,
the vexed complainant needs to knock at the doors of the jurisdictional
Magistrate.  There again that Court will be burdened with the needless
litigation.  As held by the Supreme Court in Hasib vs. The State of Bihar6 the
object of First Information Report from the point of view of the informant is to
set the criminal law in to motion and from the point of view of the
investigating authorities it is to obtain information about the alleged criminal
activity so as to be able to take suitable steps for tracing and bringing to
book the guilty party.  Keeping in view the clear and unequivocal position in
law, the litigation in whatever form whether by way of writ petitions or by
private complaints is absolutely needless and avoidable.  The Courts shall be
left free to decide cases involving much more serious and complex issues, civil,
criminal and constitutional and they cannot be allowed to be bogged down in
adjudicating the needless litigations on aspects such as non-registration of
FIRs, police interference in civil disputes etc.  The officers at the helm will
be doing a great service to the society if they address these grievances of the
common man at their level so that the flood gates of this unwanted litigation
are closed to a major extent, if not completely shut.
        Coming to the relief aspect of the cases, obviously taking cue from
certain oral observations made by this Court during the hearing of Writ Petition
No.9210 of 2007, an FIR was registered against respondent No.5 on 22.07.2010 and 
a copy of the same was furnished to the Court by the learned Assistant
Government Pleader for Home at the hearing of the case.  In view of this
subsequent event, no formal relief need be granted in this writ petition except
to direct the police to hold dispassionate investigation and file an appropriate
report/charge sheet before the jurisdictional Magistrate within a period of two
months. 
        As regards Writ Petition No.27524 of 2009, respondent No.2 is directed to
reconsider the report lodged by petitioner No.1 and do the needful in accordance
with Section 154 (1) of the Code and in the light of the interpretation of this
provision contained in this judgment.  He shall do the needful within a period
of two weeks and intimate the result to the petitioners.
        Taking into consideration the overwhelming public interest, I feel it
appropriate to give the following directions.
1) All the Station House Officers in the State shall scrupulously adhere to the
commands of Section 154(1) of the Code, keeping in view the observations made 
and findings rendered in this judgment.
2) All the Superintendents of Police shall ensure strict implementation of
Section 154(1) of the Code and Clauses (2) and (3) of the A.P. Police Manual by
undertaking periodical reviews with intervals of not later than one month in
this regard either during crime meetings or otherwise and send reports
periodically with reference to each of the police stations in their jurisdiction
to the DIGs concerned.  While sending the reports, the Superintendents of Police
shall state as to in how many cases the Station House Officers failed to
register the cases where the information received by them disclosed commission
of cognizable offences and whether any action was taken against the Station
House Officers under Section 217 IPC in terms of the Police Manual in cases of
default?
3) The DIGs in turn shall examine the review reports sent by the Superintendents
of Police concerned and issue appropriate directions for effective compliance of
the provisions of Section 154(1) read with the Manual.
        Subject to the above directions, the Writ Petitions are disposed of.


?1 1992 Supp (1) SCC 335  
2 (2006) 2 SCC 677 
3 (2007) 1 SCC 1 
4 2007 (1) ALD (Crl.) 1032 (AP)
5 (2008) 2 SCC 409 
6 AIR 1972 SC 283