Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has ruled that preliminary inquiry should be made time-bound and should not exceed seven days.
Quashing an FIR that was registered by Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) after 18 years of preliminary enquiry, bench of justice Vinod Chatterji Koul held that in keeping with the law laid down by the Supreme Court a preliminary inquiry should be made time-bound and, in any case and should not exceed seven days.
The Court said in the instant case the FIR had been lodged after 18 years of preliminary enquiry and the rights of petitioner had been sought to be violated to the hilt.
“The law laid down is that if the information received does not disclose a cognizable offence, but indicates the necessity for an inquiry, a preliminary inquiry may be conducted only to ascertain whether cognizable offence is disclosed or not, and that if the inquiry discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, the FIR must be registered”
The Court said in the instant case, it was reiterated that the Vigilance Organization had not registered the FIR, obviously, because the information received had not disclosed a cognizable offence. “However, the information had indicated the necessity for a preliminary inquiry, obviously, for the limited purpose of ascertaining as to whether a cognizable offence has been committed.”
Such preliminary enquiry, the court said, was admittedly conducted which had ended in closing the source information / complaint on the basis of which the preliminary enquiry had been initiated.
“The legal inference, therefore, is that the Vigilance Organization came to the conclusion that no offence was made out. In fact, that was the report made by Senior Superintendent of Police, which was accepted by the Commissioner, Vigilance” court said
“I am of the considered view that impugned FIR cannot and does not withstand the scrutiny of established law. It, therefore, deserves to be quashed,” the court said while quashing the FIR dated 17 November 2020 registered at Anti-Corruption Bureau, Kashmir, Srinagar.