When preliminary Enquiry before registration of FIR is necssary

Preliminary Enquiry before FIR:

Before a public servant, whatever be his status, is publicly charged with acts, of dishonesty which amount to serious misdemeanour or misconduct of the type alleged in this case and a first information is lodged against him, there must be some suitable preliminary enquiry into the allegations by a responsible officer.

The lodging of such a report against a person, specially one who like the appellant occupied the top position in a department, even if baseless, would do incalculable harm not only to the officer in particular but to the department he belonged to, in general. If the, Government had set up a Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Department as was done in the State of Madras and the said department was entrusted with enquiries of this kind, no exception can be taken to an enquiry by officers of this department but any such enquiry must proceed in a fair and reasonable manner. the enquiring officer must not act under any preconceived idea of guilt of the person whose conduct was being enquired into or pursue the enquiry in such a manner as to lead to an inference that he was bent upon securing the conviction of the said person by adopting measures which are of doubtful validity or sanction. The means adopted no less than the end to be achieved must be impeccable. In ordinary depart- mental proceedings against a Government servant charged with delinquency, the normal practice before the issue of a charge sheet is for some one in authority to take down statements of persons involved in the matter and to examine documents which have a bearing on the issue involved. It is only thereafter that a charged sheet is submitted and a full-scale enquiry is launched. When the enquiry is to be held for the purpose of finding out whether criminal proceedings are to be resorted to the scope thereof must be limited to the examination of persons who have knowledge of the affairs of the delinquent officer and documents bearing on the same to -find out whether there is prima facie evidence of guilt of the officer. Thereafter the ordinary law of the land must take its course and further inquiry be proceeded with in terms of the Code of Criminal Procedure by lodging a first information report.

[Source: P. Sirajuddin  vs State Of Madras: 1971 AIR 520, 1970 SCR (3) 931]

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