M. Subramaniam vs S. Janaki on 20 March, 2020


Supreme Court of India

M. Subramaniam vs S. Janaki on 20 March, 2020

Author: Sanjiv Khanna

Bench: L. Nageswara Rao, S. Abdul Nazeer, Sanjiv Khanna

                                                     NON-REPORTABLE

                     IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                   CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                     CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 102 OF 2011


M. SUBRAMANIAM AND ANOTHER                         …..   APPELLANT(S)

                             VERSUS

S. JANAKI AND ANOTHER                              …..RESPONDENT(S)


                                  ORDER

The impugned order dated 06.01.2010 passed by the

Madurai Bench of Madras High Court in Criminal O.P. (MD) No.

11620 of 2009 filed by S. Janaki, the first respondent before us,

directs the Inspector of Police, City Crime Branch, K.K. Nagar,

Trichy to register a case, that is, First Information Report, on the

basis of the complaint dated 18.09.2008 and after investigation file

the final report in accordance with law.

2. Aggrieved, Mr. M. Subramaniam and Mr. R.V. Prasanna

Venkatesan who were not even made parties to the aforesaid

Criminal O.P. (MD) No. 11620 of 2009 have filed the present

petition under Article 136 of the Constitution of India. By order

dated 12.03.2010, the permission to file Special Leave Petition

was granted and notice was issued. On considering the facts and
Criminal Appeal No. 102 of 2011 Page 1 of 8
assertions made, it was directed that in the meanwhile operation

of the impugned judgment would be stayed.

3. In spite of the aforesaid stay, it appears that the Inspector of

Police, City Crime Branch, K.K. Nagar, Trichy on 05.04.2010 had

registered an FIR in Crime No. 7 of 2010 under Sections 403, 406,

408, 418(i), 420, 424 and 465 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860

against the two appellants and three others. During the course of

the hearing before us, the appellants have produced a copy of the

order dated 18.02.2019 passed by the Madurai Bench of Madras

High Court in Criminal O.P. (MD) No. 5195 of 2010 and M.P.(MD)

No. 1 of 2010 filed by the appellants and three others against the

two respondents. By this order, the petition was partly allowed

with the direction that the aforesaid case registered as Crime No.

7 of 2010 will be treated as closed. In the event of this Court

dismissing the present S.L.P., the police would proceed with the

investigation in Crime No. 7 of 2010 and take it to its logical

conclusion by either filing charge-sheet or a final closure report as

the case may be. It stands specifically directed that the police

would not proceed further with the investigation till the decision of

the present S.L.P.

4. As per the appellants, the first respondent was one of the trustees

in ADS Educational Trust which was founded in 1985 for the
Criminal Appeal No. 102 of 2011 Page 2 of 8
purposes of giving and promoting education. The trust had

started Sri Angalamman College of Engineering and Technology

at Trichy in 1987. The first and second appellants before us are

the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman respectively of this College.

The appellants have submitted that the first respondent has no

locus standi to file a criminal complaint and the complaint is

intended only to wreak vengeance in view of the civil dispute,

which is pending between the parties. The first respondent, it is

alleged, was removed from service as she was found guilty of

fraud and forgery.

5. While it is not possible to accept the contention of the appellants

on the question of locus standi, we are inclined to accept the

contention that the High Court could not have directed the

registration of an FIR with a direction to the police to investigate

and file the final report in view of the judgment of this Court in

Sakiri Vasu v. State Of Uttar Pradesh And Others 1 in which it

has been inter alia held as under:

“11. In this connection we would like to state that if a
person has a grievance that the police station is not
registering his FIR under Section 154 CrPC, then he
can approach the Superintendent of Police under
Section 154(3) CrPC by an application in writing. Even
if that does not yield any satisfactory result in the sense
that either the FIR is still not registered, or that even
after registering it no proper investigation is held, it is
open to the aggrieved person to file an application

1
(2008) 2 SCC 409
Criminal Appeal No. 102 of 2011 Page 3 of 8
under Section 156(3) CrPC before the learned
Magistrate concerned. If such an application under
Section 156(3) is filed before the Magistrate, the
Magistrate can direct the FIR to be registered and also
can direct a proper investigation to be made, in a case
where, according to the aggrieved person, no proper
investigation was made. The Magistrate can also under
the same provision monitor the investigation to ensure
a proper investigation.

12. Thus in Mohd. Yousuf v. Afaq Jahan this Court
observed: (SCC p. 631, para 11)

“11. The clear position therefore is that any
Judicial Magistrate, before taking cognizance of
the offence, can order investigation under Section
156(3)
of the Code. If he does so, he is not to
examine the complainant on oath because he
was not taking cognizance of any offence therein.
For the purpose of enabling the police to start
investigation it is open to the Magistrate to direct
the police to register an FIR. There is nothing
illegal in doing so. After all registration of an FIR
involves only the process of entering the
substance of the information relating to the
commission of the cognizable offence in a book
kept by the officer in charge of the police station
as indicated in Section 154 of the Code. Even if a
Magistrate does not say in so many words while
directing investigation under Section 156(3) of the
Code that an FIR should be registered, it is the
duty of the officer in charge of the police station to
register the FIR regarding the cognizable offence
disclosed by the complainant because that police
officer could take further steps contemplated in
Chapter XII of the Code only thereafter.”

13. The same view was taken by this Court in Dilawar
Singh v. State of Delhi (JT
vide para 17). We would
further clarify that even if an FIR has been registered
and even if the police has made the investigation, or is
actually making the investigation, which the aggrieved
person feels is not proper, such a person can approach
the Magistrate under Section 156(3) CrPC, and if the
Magistrate is satisfied he can order a proper
investigation and take other suitable steps and pass
such order(s) as he thinks necessary for ensuring a
proper investigation. All these powers a Magistrate
enjoys under Section 156(3) CrPC.

Criminal Appeal No. 102 of 2011 Page 4 of 8

14. Section 156(3) states:

“156. (3) Any Magistrate empowered under
Section 190 may order such an investigation as
abovementioned.”

The words “as abovementioned” obviously refer to
Section 156(1), which contemplates investigation by
the officer in charge of the police station.

15. Section 156(3) provides for a check by the
Magistrate on the police performing its duties under
Chapter XII CrPC. In cases where the Magistrate finds
that the police has not done its duty of investigating the
case at all, or has not done it satisfactorily, he can
issue a direction to the police to do the investigation
properly, and can monitor the same.

16. The power in the Magistrate to order further
investigation under Section 156(3) is an independent
power and does not affect the power of the
investigating officer to further investigate the case even
after submission of his report vide Section 173(8).
Hence the Magistrate can order reopening of the
investigation even after the police submits the final
report, vide State of Bihar v. J.A.C. Saldanha (SCC :
AIR para 19).

17. In our opinion Section 156(3) CrPC is wide enough
to include all such powers in a Magistrate which are
necessary for ensuring a proper investigation, and it
includes the power to order registration of an FIR and
of ordering a proper investigation if the Magistrate is
satisfied that a proper investigation has not been done,
or is not being done by the police. Section 156(3)
CrPC, though briefly worded, in our opinion, is very
wide and it will include all such incidental powers as
are necessary for ensuring a proper investigation.

18. It is well settled that when a power is given to an
authority to do something it includes such incidental or
implied powers which would ensure the proper doing of
that thing. In other words, when any power is expressly
granted by the statute, there is impliedly included in the
grant, even without special mention, every power and
every control the denial of which would render the
grant itself ineffective. Thus where an Act confers
jurisdiction it impliedly also grants the power of doing
Criminal Appeal No. 102 of 2011 Page 5 of 8
all such acts or employ such means as are essentially
necessary for its execution.”

6. The said ratio has been followed in Sudhir Bhaskarrao Tambe v.

Hemant Yashwant Dhage and Others2, in which it is observed.

“2. This Court has held in Sakiri Vasu v. State of U.P.,
that if a person has a grievance that his FIR has not
been registered by the police, or having been
registered, proper investigation is not being done, then
the remedy of the aggrieved person is not to go to the
High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of
India, but to approach the Magistrate concerned under
Section 156(3) CrPC. If such an application under
Section 156(3) CrPC is made and the Magistrate is,
prima facie, satisfied, he can direct the FIR to be
registered, or if it has already been registered, he can
direct proper investigation to be done which includes in
his discretion, if he deems it necessary, recommending
change of the investigating officer, so that a proper
investigation is done in the matter. We have said this
in Sakiri Vasu case because what we have found in
this country is that the High Courts have been flooded
with writ petitions praying for registration of the first
information report or praying for a proper investigation.

3. We are of the opinion that if the High Courts
entertain such writ petitions, then they will be flooded
with such writ petitions and will not be able to do any
other work except dealing with such writ petitions.
Hence, we have held that the complainant must avail of
his alternate remedy to approach the Magistrate
concerned under Section 156(3) CrPC and if he does
so, the Magistrate will ensure, if prima facie he is
satisfied, registration of the first information report and
also ensure a proper investigation in the matter, and he
can also monitor the investigation.

4. In view of the settled position in Sakiri Vasu case,
the impugned judgment of the High Court cannot be
sustained and is hereby set aside. The Magistrate
concerned is directed to ensure proper investigation
into the alleged offence under Section 156(3) CrPC
and if he deems it necessary, he can also recommend
to the SSP/SP concerned a change of the investigating
2
(2016) 6 SCC 277
Criminal Appeal No. 102 of 2011 Page 6 of 8
officer, so that a proper investigation is done. The
Magistrate can also monitor the investigation, though
he cannot himself investigate (as investigation is the
job of the police). Parties may produce any material
they wish before the Magistrate concerned. The
learned Magistrate shall be uninfluenced by any
observation in the impugned order of the High Court.”

7. We are also surprised and concerned at the registration of the FIR

in Crime No. 7 of 2010, notwithstanding, the stay order passed by

this Court while issuing notice by which the operation of the

impugned judgment was directed to remain stayed.

8. In these circumstances, we would allow the present appeal and

set aside the direction of the High Court for registration of the FIR

and investigation into the matter by the police. At the same time,

our order would not be an impediment in the way of the first

respondent filing documents and papers with the police pursuant

to the complaint dated 18.09.2008 and the police on being

satisfied that a criminal offence is made out would have liberty to

register an FIR. It is also open to the first respondent to approach

the court of the metropolitan magistrate if deemed appropriate and

necessary. Equally, it will be open to the appellants and others to

take steps to protect their interest.

9. We would clarify that this Court has not expressed any opinion on

merits and whether or not the complaint discloses any criminal

offence. The only clarification that is required is that a civil dispute
Criminal Appeal No. 102 of 2011 Page 7 of 8
should not be given the colour of a criminal offence, and at the

same time mere pendency of the civil proceeding is not a good

ground and justification to not register and investigate an FIR if a

criminal offence has been committed.

10. Recording the aforesaid, the present appeal is partly allowed.

…………………………, J.

(N.V. RAMANA)

…………………………, J.

(MOHAN M. SHANTANAGOUDAR)

.…………………………, J.

(SANJIV KHANNA)
NEW DELHI;

MARCH 20, 2020.

Criminal Appeal No. 102 of 2011 Page 8 of 8



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