SC held that High Court under Art 226 cannot order registration of FIR

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M Subramanian & Ors. v. S Janaki & Ors. decided on March 20, 2020

Bench: N.V. Ramana, Mohan M. Shantanagoudar and Sanjiv Khanna

Relevant Provisions of Law:S.156 CrPC, Article 226 Constitution of India,


The impugned order  in discussion passed by High Court directed the Inspector of Police to register a case by filing an FIR  on the basis of a complaint made by the respondent. Furthermore, it directed the Inspector of Police to file the final report after conducting a investigation. However, the appellants/ aggrieved in this case were not made a party to the order Aggrieved by the same, the appellants filed an SLP at the Supreme Court, but the police didn’t stop investigating the case

Question of Law

  1. Whether the High Court was correct in ordering registration of the FIR and submit file the final report?


The Hon’ble Supreme Court held that High Court was not justified in ordering registration of FIR and directing police to investigate the offence. . The Court relying upon following judgements said that

Judgments Held
Sakiri Vasu v. State Of Uttar Pradesh “Section 156(3) CrPC is wide enough to include all such powers in a Magistrate which are necessary for ensuring a proper investigation, and it includes the power to order registration of an FIR and of ordering a proper investigation if the Magistrate is satisfied that a proper investigation has not been done, or is not being done by the police. Section 156(3) CrPC, though briefly worded, in our opinion, is very wide and it will include all such incidental powers as are necessary for ensuring a proper investigation”.

Furthermore, relying upon Sudhir Bhaskarrao Tambe v. Hemant Yashwant Dhage the Court said that one must not approach the High Court directly under Article 226 and should rather exhaust its alternative remedy first, by approaching the Magistrate under S.156 of the CrPC

The court also held that “if the High Court’s entertain such writ petitions, then they will be flooded with such writ petitions and will not be able to do any other work except dealing with such writ petitions. The esteemed judges of the hon’ble court also pointed out the fact that the alternative remedies in the present case had not been exhausted. As mentioned above, the Judicial Magistrate has a competent jurisdiction to order any such sort of investigation, this power has been granted to the magistrate by means of a statutory authority, in this case CrPC.”


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