Summons under s. 160 CrPC can be issued by a police officer to trigger an investigation, FIR registration must: Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court observed that summons or notices under Section 160 of the Code of Criminal Procedure can be issued by a police officer in order to trigger an investigation and registration of FIR is compulsory for the same thing.

Section 160 CrPC provides the power of a police officer to compel the appearance of witnesses.

Judge Chandra Dhari Singh made the said observation while responding to the question of at what stage a notice under section 160 of the Code may be issued.

The Court observed that without a recording of the FIR, it cannot be said that an investigation has been opened. Furthermore, he stated that even for an investigation to be deemed legal and valid, the police officer must act in accordance with the provisions of the CrPC and he cannot exceed his powers by conducting a preliminary investigation without reporting to a magistrate.

The Court thus quashed three subpoenas issued by Deputy Captain of Police, Cyber ​​Crime against Kulvinder Singh Kohli, Founder and Non-Executive Chairman of Frankfinn Aviation Services Pvt. ltd. He had received a summons from the relevant authority in connection with a complaint lodged by a certain Rajbikramdeep Singh and his son Munjanpreet Singh.

The complaint contained allegations against Kohli and one Harvansjit Singh, for offenses under sec. 153A, 501, 504, 505, 295A, 506 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 et sec. 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

Lead attorney Vikas Pahwa representing the petitioner argued that the summons dated January 25, 2022 was the first correspondence he had received from the relevant authority and that he had not received any other communication prior to this.

It was added that Kohli, in his response dated January 27, 2022, implied to the relevant authority that he had not received the first notice or summons and that the summons did not contain any copy of the request to the in respect of which the summons had been issued.

It is alleged that Kohli then asked the authority to provide her with a copy of the request, however, instead of providing the copy of the request/complaint, she sent him the second summons despite her assurances of cooperating fully with investigation. .

It was further argued that the impugned subpoena lacked jurisdiction since said subpoena under s. 160 of the Cr.PC were issued by the relevant police station in the SAS district of Nagar, while Kohli, who lived in Delhi, fell outside the jurisdiction of the said police station.

On the other hand, the prosecution argued that Kohli, in sheer abuse of his rights, had approached the Court by filing the motion seeking the quashing of the disputed notices under s. 160 of the Cr.PC instead of joining the investigation.

It was argued that the notices or subpoenas were issued against the petitioner by adopting proper legal procedure and in accordance with the orders issued by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana.

The Court observed that in the present case it cannot be said that an inquiry or inquiry was validly or lawfully carried out by the authority concerned, even for the limited purpose of issuing an opinion under s. 160 of Cr.PC

“The provision states that a police officer carrying out an investigation may require the presence of ‘any person within the limits of his own post or any adjacent post’, thereby setting clearly and unequivocally the limits of the jurisdiction in which the police officer is authorized to act,“said the court.

The Court noted that the notice under s. 160 of the Cr.PC was issued to the applicant at his mailing address in Gurugram, Haryana.

“These two addresses are clearly outside and beyond the territorial limits of the relevant Police Station SAS Nagar. , the notice delivered may properly be said to be delivered without jurisdiction,” added the Court.

The Court therefore concluded that the notice provided for in s. 160 of the Cr.PC was not issued at the correct time by the authority since it could not be said that he was conducting an investigation under the Cr.PC without the registration of the FIR for the purpose of issuing the notice.

It was added that the summons or notices were issued without jurisdiction by the concerned authority of SAS Nagar, Mohali, Punjab to the petitioner residing beyond his own station as well as any neighboring station.

The motion was therefore granted.

Case Title: KULVINDER SINGH KOHLI v. NCT STATE OF DELHI & ORS

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 565

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