Section 156(3) provides for a check by the Magistrate on the police performing its duties under Chapter XII, Cr.P.C. In cases where the Magistrate finds that the police has not done its […]
A cardinal question of public importance and one that is likely to arise more often than not in relation to the lodging of the First Information Report (FIR) with the aid of Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (for short, ‘the Code’) or otherwise independently within the ambit of Section 154 of the Code is as to whether there can be more than one FIR in relation to the same incident or different incidents arising from the same occurrence.
The second FIR, in our opinion, would be maintainable not only because there were different versions but when new discovery is made on factual foundations. Discoveries may foe made by the police authorities at a subsequent stage. Discovery about a larger conspiracy can also surface in another proceeding, as for example, in a case of this nature. If the police authorities did not make a fair investigation and left out conspiracy aspect of the matter from the purview of its investigation, in our opinion, as and when the same surfaced, it was open to the State and/or the High Court to direct investigation in respect of an offence which is distinct and separate from the one for which the FIR had already been lodged.
Legal position is that there cannot be two FIRs against the same accused in respect of the same case. But when there are rival versions in respect of the same episode, they would normally take the shape of two different FIRs and investigation can be carried on under both of them by the same investigating agency. Even that apart, the report submitted by the Court styling it is as FIR No. 208 of 1998 need be considered as an information submitted to the Court regarding the new discovery made by the police during investigation that persons not named in FIR No. 135 are the real culprits. To quash the said proceeding merely on the ground that final report had been laid in FIR No. 135 is, to say the least, too technical. The ultimate object of every investigation is to find out whether the offences alleged have been committed and, if so who have committed it.
Second FIR – 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).