Table of Contents
I have extensively dealt with Section 160 Cr.P.C. in this Blog Post. I though it would be useful to cover the Top 5 Points in Section 160 Cr.P.C. Few important Decisions on the subject are extracted as follows:
POINT 1: Summons issued before registering FIR – FIR Number not mentioned in the summons
The Registration of FIR is sine qua non for issuing summons under Section 160 Cr.P.C.
J Prakash Transports v. Inspector of Police 2004 SCC OnLine Mad 705 : (2004) 1 MWN (Cri) 51 [Madras High Court]
The learned counsel appearing for the petitioners submits that as no crime was registered by the respondent-police, he has no jurisdiction to issue summons under Section 160, Cr.P.C compelling the petitioners to appear before him and therefore, the summons has to be quashed. I find some substance in the said contention. The summons, which I have extracted above, shows that the officer did not even mention the crime number in the said summons. The learned Public Prosecutor also submits that no crime was registered by the respondent. If that be the case, it is not understandable as to how he should issue summons, since under Section 160, Cr.P.C, summons could be issued by any police officer making an investigation under that Chapter, which means that investigation is a sine qua nonfor issuing summons and the investigation can be conducted only in connection with the crime registered in terms of Section 154, Cr.P.C Since there is no crime registered in terms of Section 154, Cr.P.C, no summons can be issued under Section 160, Cr.P.C, summoning a person to appear before the officer. As the summons summoning the petitioners, issued by the officer, is without jurisdiction, it is quashed. The petition is allowed.J Prakash Transports v. Inspector of Police 2004 SCC OnLine Mad 705 : (2004) 1 MWN (Cri) 51
This extract is taken from V.N. Pachaimuthu v. Superintendent of Police, Villupuram District, Villupuram, 2012 SCC OnLine Mad 1020 : (2012) 2 MWN (Cri) 96 : (2012) 3 CTC 291 at page 97
6. The submission of Petitioner is that the Complaint made by Respondent No. 4 is patently false, as the matter is purely of Civil in nature. It is also submission of Petitioner that Respondent Nos. 1 to 3 under the guise of enquiry, were harassing and threatening the Petitioner without any basis. It is also stated in the affidavit that Respondents are compelling the Petitioner to consent to their demand by unconditionally vacating the land. The submission made hereinabove can only be seen in exercise of jurisdiction under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure, and not in exercise of Writ jurisdiction. However, learned Counsel for the Petitioner points out that no case has been registered, but Petitioner has been summoned under Section 160 of Cr.P.C.
7. The Petitioner is, therefore, right in contending that the Police has no jurisdiction to harass a citizen, as the duty of the Police in case of receipt of Complaint, showing cognizable offence, is to register an FIR, and thereafter proceed with the investigation under Section 157 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. This can entitle the aggrieved party to work out the remedy in accordance with law, including invoking of Section 482 of Cr.P.C. for quashing of FIR.V.N. Pachaimuthu v. Superintendent of Police, Villupuram District, Villupuram, 2012 SCC OnLine Mad 1020 : (2012) 2 MWN (Cri) 96 : (2012) 3 CTC 291 at page 97
8. The Respondents also have no right or jurisdiction to direct a party to produce evidence, which may be going against them, as an Accused cannot be directed to furnish necessary documents, as it will be for the Police to collect evidence, if any offence is made out, from the Complaint.
9. The Petitioner has placed on record the notice, issued under Section 160 of Cr.P.C., calling Petitioner for enquiry. This notice on the face of it is without jurisdiction and unwarranted in law, as notice under Section 160 Cr.P.C., can be issued to witness in pending FIR, but cannot be issued to a person, who is an accused in a Complaint or before registration of the case.
POINT 2: Summons for preliminary enquiry issued after registering CSR (Tamil Nadu)
In some States like Tamil Nadu, we have a system whereby on receipt of the complaint by the Police, they register a CSR. After registration of a CSR an inquiry is conducted and if the information makes out a cognizable offence, the FIR is registered. The question is whether this is applicable to all nature of complaints. As per the Decision of the Hon’ble Apex Court in Lalita Kumari vs Govt.Of U.P.& Ors on 12 November, 2013, it is applicable only to cases like Matrimonial disputes/ family disputes, Commercial offences, Medical negligence cases, Corruption cases, Cases where there is abnormal delay/laches in initiating criminal prosecution, for example, over 3 months delay in reporting the matter without satisfactorily explaining the reasons for delay. Therefore preliminary enquiry cannot be carried out as a routine.
5. Before registration of a case, it appears that the respondent-Police is conducting an enquiry and that is the reason why a reference in Community Service Register (CSR) No. 83.W/26.AWPS/09 has been mentioned. The Government of Tamil Nadu introduced a procedure, whereby, in matters relating to matrimonial and other minor offences, the Police Officers may, before even registering the case and after making entry in the Community Service Register, conduct a preliminary enquiry by summoning both the parties in dispute. Such procedure has been adopted only to avoid unnecessary litigation and harassment for the parties. Further if a compromise could be reached even at the stage ofpreliminary enquiry, such course is resorted to, else if the dispute could not be resolved and if a cognizable offence seems to be made out, usual procedure is applied by registering a case.
6. In the present case, even though there is no direct provision in the Criminal Procedure Code to direct the parties to appear before the Investigating Officer, Section 160, Cr.P.C has been invoked by the respondent-Police with reference to the procedure adopted while investigating cases pertaining to matrimonial and other minor offences. Therefore, I do not find any violation in the procedure adopted by the respondent-Police. Consequently, the Petition is dismissed as devoid of merits. Connected MP is closed.Geetha @ Sharmila and others v. State, rep by Inspector of Police, 2009 SCC OnLine Mad 699 : (2009) 2 MWN (Cri) 212
POINT 3: Summons issued to someone outside Jurisdiction
This extract is taken from Pusma Investment (P.) Ltd. v. State of Meghalaya, 2009 SCC OnLine Gau 107 : (2010) 1 Gau LR 74 : 2010 Cri LJ 56 : (2010) 1 E Cr N 799 : (2010) 3 CCR 218 at page 78
5. Section 160, Cr. P.C. authorizes a police officer making an investigation, by order in writing, (i) to require the attendance before himself, (ii) of any person, who, from the information given or otherwise, appears to be acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case, and (iii) who is residing within the limits of his own police station or any adjoining police station. The expression “who being within the limits of his own” read with the words following it, namely, “or any adjoining station” can only mean the person, who is to be summoned, must reside within the limits of the police station of the police officer making the investigation. So read, it becomes clear that such police officer making the investigation can enforce the attendance of a person acquainted with the facts and circumstances only if the latter resides within the limits of his own police station or adjoining station. If the person being summoned does not reside within the limits of the police station of the police officer making the investigation or, at any rate, within the limits of the adjoining police station, it appears that such police officer cannot enforce his attendance even though he may be acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case being investigated by him. ….
6. Consequently, this writ petition succeeds. The impugned notices issued by the respondent No. 6 to the petitioners under section 160 Cr. P.C. are hereby quashed. No further notice under section 160 Cr. P.C. shall be issued by him upon the petitioners hereafter to enforce their attendance from Delhi as witnesses in connection with Laban P.S. Case No. 63(11)04…Pusma Investment (P.) Ltd. v. State of Meghalaya, 2009 SCC OnLine Gau 107 : (2010) 1 Gau LR 74 : 2010 Cri LJ 56 : (2010) 1 E Cr N 799 : (2010) 3 CCR 218 at page 80