Gujarat High Court denies contempt action for failure to record rape FIR

The Gujarat High Court recently refused to consider a contempt motion against a police inspector for allegedly failing to comply with the Apex court ruling in the case of Lalita Kumar v UP State, for the prompt registration of the FIR upon receipt of information regarding a recognizable violation.

A bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Ashutosh Shastri observed:

Having noted that a substantive complaint was filed not only against the respondent, but also against the police officer who was in charge and one of the other co-defendants and, as such, it appears that the applicant’s grievance is supported by initiating proceedings by filing substantive grievance and, as such, the applicant did not remain without recourse.

He added “It can either initiate criminal proceedings or take the appropriate action authorized by law and one of the measures is already triggered in the form of a complaint having already been lodged against the accused persons, as such, we believe that our jurisdiction should not be exercised in favor of the plaintiff.

The applicant had applied to the High Court under section 12 of the Contempt of Courts Act, alleging that a defendant (defendant) had raped her, but despite her complaint, the police did not bring her to court. not believed and did not take note of his complaint. The Applicant therefore wanted appropriate measures to be taken against the offending agents, including the present Respondent.

The AGP opposed the plea, saying the plaintiff concocted the story with an indirect motive. The main grievance concerned the failure to file the FIR and yet no specific allegation against the particular police inspector was made. He has not been implicated in the current proceedings. Moreover, the offense did not take place within the jurisdiction of the competent police station and, therefore, no preliminary investigation was carried out by the police inspector. Finally, there were similar complaints filed by the petitioner earlier, but this was the first complaint alleging that the Inspector of Police failed to register the FIR.

Addressing these claims, the High Court found that the Applicant had “tricked” the Respondent to extort money from him and that an FIR had been registered against the Applicant for the same.

Additionally, it appeared on the bench that the investigative process had been initiated regarding the current allegations and the police officer had been found. At first glance responsible to some extent. The plaintiff was therefore not without recourse.

With regard to non-compliance with the Lalita Kumari judgment, the High Court found that the police authorities had effectively delayed the process of registering the complaint. Yet now the complaint had been registered and the grievance had been taken care of. The Chamber also observed:

At this stage, it also appears from the file that, according to the version of the applicant and her father, the applicant was taken to the guest house about five times and the alleged act had been committed, but for a rather long period, a silence on the part of the father as well as the plaintiff is a matter to be considered by the proper authority… No normal person so aggrieved would wait a long enough period.

Considering that the Petitioner’s account was seriously in doubt and that there had been a significant delay in the filing of the present petition supported by the fact that the Petitioner was not without recourse, the High Court refused to bind a contempt proceeding. However, it was specified that the Applicant could address the appropriate authorities to exercise recourse.

Case no: C/MCA/567/2022


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