Registration of two FIRs in respect of the same incident is not permissible in law, for the simple reason that law does not prohibit registration and investigation of two FIRs in respect of the same incident in case the versions are different. The test of sameness has to be applied otherwise there would not be cross cases and counter cases. Thus, filing another FIR in respect of the same incident having a different version of events is permissible. (Vide: Ram Lal Narang v. State (Delhi Admn.), AIR 1979 SC 1791; Sudhir and Ors., v. State of M.P. AIR 2001 SC 826; T.T. Antony v. State of Kerala and Ors., AIR 2001 SC 2637; Upkar Singh v. Ved Prakash and Ors., AIR 2004 SC 4320; and Babubhai v. State of Gujarat and Ors., (2010) 12 SCC 254).
In Bhagwant Singh v. Commissioner of Police and Anr., AIR 1985 SC 1285, this Court dealt with an issue elaborately entertaining the writ petition and accepting the submission in regard to acceptance of the Final Report to the extent that if no case was made out by the Magistrate, it would be violative of principles of natural justice of the complainant and therefore before the Magistrate drops the proceedings the informant is required to be given hearing as the informant must know what is the result of the investigation initiated on the basis of first FIR. He is the person interested in the result of the investigation. Thus, in case the Magistrate takes a view that there is no sufficient ground for proceeding further and drops the proceedings, the informant would certainly be prejudiced and therefore, he has a right to be heard.
10. In Bindeshwari Prasad Singh v. Kali Singh, AIR 1977 SC 2432, this Court held that the second complaint lies if there are some new facts or even on the previous facts if the special case is made out.
Similarly, in Pramatha Nath Talukdar v. Saroj Ranjan Sarkar, AIR 1962 SC 876, this Court has held as under:
An order of dismissal under Section 203 of the code of Criminal Procedure, is, however, no bar to the entertainment of a second complaint on the same facts but it will be entertained only in exceptional circumstances e.g. where the previous order was passed on an incomplete record or on a misunderstanding of the nature of the complaint or it was manifestly absurd, unjust or foolish or where new facts which could not, with reasonable diligence, have been brought on the record in the previous proceedings, have been adduced. It cannot be said to be in the interest of justice that after a decision has been given against the complainant upon a full consideration of his case, he or any other person should be given another opportunity to have his complaint enquired into.
11. After considering the aforesaid judgment along with various other judgments of this Court, in Mahesh Chand v. B. Janardhan Reddy and Anr., AIR 2003 SC 702, this Court held as under:
..It is settled law that there is no statutory bar in filing a second complaint on the same facts. In a case where a previous complaint is dismissed without assigning any reasons, the Magistrate under Section 204 code of Criminal Procedure may take cognizance of an offence and issue process if there is sufficient ground for proceeding.
In Poonam Chand Jain and Anr. v. Fazru AIR 2005 SC 38, a similar view has been re-iterated by this Court.
12. In Jatinder Singh and Ors. v. Ranjit Kaur, AIR 2001 SC 784, this Court held that dismissal of a complaint on the ground of default was no bar for a fresh Complaint being filed on the same facts.
Similarly in Ranvir Singh v. State of Haryana, (2009) 9 SCC 642, this Court examined the issue in the backdrop of facts that the complaint had been dismissed for the failure of the complainant to put in the process fees for effecting service and held that in such a factsituation second complaint was maintainable.
13. Thus, it is evident that the law does not prohibit filing or entertaining of the second complaint even on the same facts provided the earlier complaint has been decided on the basis of insufficient material or the order has been passed without understanding the nature of the complaint or the complete facts could not be placed before the court or where the complainant came to know certain facts after disposal of the first complaint which could have tilted the balance in his favour. However, second complaint would not be maintainable wherein the earlier complaint has been disposed of on full consideration of the case of the complainant on merit.
14. The Protest Petition can always be treated as a complaint and proceeded with in terms of Chapter XV of code of Criminal Procedure. Therefore, in case there is no bar to entertain a second complaint on the same facts, in exceptional circumstances, the second Protest Petition can also similarly be entertained only under exceptional circumstances. In case the first Protest Petition has been filed without furnishing the full facts/particulars necessary to decide the case, and prior to its entertainment by the court, a fresh Protest Petition is filed giving full details, we fail to understand as to why it should not be maintainable.