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A court here has pulled up Delhi Police for not lodging an FIR against a man despite specific allegations that he had strangled his employee to death to evade payment of salary. The court has now directed the police to lodge a first information report (FIR) against the man who allegedly killed his employee and hanged him after he asked him to clear his dues. The sessions court's recent direction came on a revision petition filed by Harpal, a resident of Uttar Pradesh, against a magisterial court order which had dismissed his plea seeking an FIR to investigate his brother's "unnatural death". Setting aside the trial court order, Special Judge Savita Rao accepted the claim of the complainant that the police had refused to take any action earlier and he was told that his brother committed suicide. The complainant had alleged that on August 8, 2013 the accused had strangled and hanged his brother with the sole intention of usurping his hard earned money. The complainant said he had visited the police station many times but no action was taken and he was now being threatened by the accused and his family members. "Facts of the case reveal the unnatural death of deceased i. E. Brother of complainant but no detailed inquiry or investigation seem to have been conducted by police officials, particularly after specific allegations nor the mandate of section 154 CrPC (lodging FIR in cognisable offences) was ever followed," the judge said. The officer in-charge of a police station, he observed, "is statutorily obliged to register a case and then to proceed with the investigation if he has reason to suspect the commission of an offence, which he is empowered". "It was alleged that the accused had not cleared the payment of salary of brother of complainant.
Upon demands made by the brother of complainant, he was beaten by the accused and was abused in filthy language. The said fact was informed to complainant by his brother," the judge noted. The police was required to conduct a detailed investigation upon reporting of the unnatural death, the court said and added, "No inquest proceedings seem to have been conducted." It further noted there was no concrete report regarding the death being a case of suicide without any foul play. Even the angle of the abetment to suicide seems to have not been explored. "Accordingly, it is directed that police shall register the FIR and conduct the investigation," the court said, while making clear that the man shall not be unnecessarily harassed and no coercive steps taken against him until and unless substantial evidence was found. It observed that at the stage of registration of a case on the basis of the information disclosing a cognizable offence in compliance of CrPC provision, the concerned police officer cannot embark upon an inquiry on whether the information was reliable and genuine. The police cannot refuse to register a case on the ground that the information is not credible.
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