New Delhi: The Calcutta High Court has held that an inordinate delay in filing a First Information Report would necessitate a preliminary enquiry prior to arrest and investigation.
A singe bench of Justice Joymalya Bagchi has held this while hearing a petition filed by relatives of the owners of an online news portal to quash false cases registered against the news portal owners.
The petitioners have submitted before the Court that the complaint was registered against owner of the news portal after publishing some news on the portal called as “non-comfortable“. After that, the owners were arrested and remanded to a “protracted detention“.
The Court has observed that the FIR against the owners was filed after an inordinate delay and without giving any reason for that delay.
Relying on the Supreme Court’s verdict in Lalita Kumari v. State of UP. Justice Bagchi has held that the FIR had been filed hastily and stated, “It appears the police authorities registered the FIR in post-haste and immediately arrested the accused persons… No explanation is forthcoming regarding the hasty registration of a belated FIR without preliminary enquiry and the immediate arrest of the accused persons”.
The Court further held that, “Strict scrutiny of statutory safeguards relating to powers of arrest and investigation are all the more necessary when it is alleged that State power has been unleashed to silence the voice of dissent.”
Justice Bagchi ordered the filing of the Enquiry Report at the next date of hearing.
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The matter has been listed to be taken up after three months.
Read the Order here;Mofijul_Islam___Anr____Order_dated_August_7__2020
-India Legal Bureau