Madras HC upholds TN SHRC order against woman police inspector

Madras (Chennai) High Court
Madras (Chennai) High Court
Madras (Chennai) High Court
Madras (Chennai) High Court

The Madras High Court has upheld the Tamil Nadu State Human Rights Commission’s order directing a woman police inspector to pay a compensation of Rs 25,000 to a victim, who was the complainant in a matrimonial case.

Dismissing the petition filed by police Inspector S Meenakshi, the First Bench, comprising acting Chief Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal and Justice M Sathyanarayanan, said it was trite law that if a complaint disclosed the commission of cognizable offence, the Station House Officer was bound to register an FIR and proceed with the investigation in accordance with law and file a final report.

Meenakshi of All Women Police Station at Tiruverumbur in Tiruchirapalli district had challenged the SHRC’s order of November 14 last year.

The complainant had said her daughter was cheated by a man identified as Sudhakar on the pretext of marriage by having a physical relationship. As Meenakshi did not accede to register an FIR, the complainant made a representation to SHRC following which Meenakshi registered an FIR against Sudhakar on November 28, 2011 and arrested him the following day.

SHRC had in its order dated November 14, 2012, directed the inspector to pay a compensation of Rs 25,000 to the victim and initiation of departmental action against her.

Meenakshi, in her petition, submitted that as the victim had not attained 18 years of age, she did not accede to the request of the complainant. She further submitted that FIR cannot be registered in matrimonial cases straight away but only after conducting a preliminary inquiry.

She alleged that the complainant with an ulterior motive lodged a false complaint to SHRC and contended that the Commission without appreciating the materials placed before it had erroneously ordered payment of compensation and a departmental action.

The bench said Section 154 of Criminal Procedure Code mandated the Station House officer to register a complaint if the contents disclosed commission of cognizable offence. Rejecting her contention that the FIR can be registered in matrimonial cases only after preliminary probe, the bench observed “This court is of the view that the stand taken by the inspector is untenable.”

Quoting a Supreme Court judgment, the bench dismissed the petition and said, “This court, on a careful scrutiny and appreciation of the materials placed before it, is of the view that there is no error apparent or infirmity in the order passed by SHRC.”