“When you have police officer who abuse citizens, you erode public confidence in law enforcement. That makes the job of good police officers unsafe.”
- Mary Frances Berry, an American historian, writer, lawyer, activist and professor who focuses on U.S. constitutional and legal, African-American history
What is a cognizable offence?
A cognizable offence is an offence in which the police officer as per the first schedule of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 or under any other law for the time being in force, can arrest the convict without a warrant and can start an investigation without the permission of the court.
- Letter to Superintendent of Police – If a police officer refuses to register a cognizable offence and any such person is aggrieved by such refusal then under section 154 (3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter Cr.P.C); the individual so aggrieved can send the substance of such information, in writing and by post, to the Superintendent of Police concerned who, if satisfied that such information discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, shall either investigate the case himself or direct an investigation to be made by any police officer subordinate to him, in the manner provided by this Code, and such officer shall have all the powers of an officer in charge of the police station in relation to that offence.
- Application under 156(3) of Cr.P.C.– a situation may arise wherein, despite informing the police about the commission of cognizable offence, the police officers did not register the FIR. In such a circumstance, the informant may first approach any Senior Police official or the Superintendent of Police with a written application. Even if that does not generate any satisfactory result, in the sense that either the FIR is still not registered, or that even after registering it no proper investigation is held, it is open to the aggrieved person to file an application under Section 156 (3) of the Cr.P.C. before the learned Magistrate (JM 1st Class) having jurisdiction, who can then direct the police to register the FIR and conduct investigation.
- File a complaint to the Magistrate – an aggrieved individual can also approach a Judicial Magistrate to file the complaint of facts which constitute such offence and after filing such complaint, under Section 190(1)(a) of the Cr.P.C, the Magistrate of the first class, and the Magistrate of the second class if specially empowered in this behalf by the Chief Judicial magistrate, may take cognizance of the offence, accordingly direct the police to register the FIR and conduct investigation. Provided that, section 200 of the same code is complied with thereafter.
- May move to the High Court under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. – Another remedy that the aggrieved individual has is to move to the High court, as under section 482 of the Cr.P.C, it has the inherit jurisdiction to make such orders as may be necessary to give effect to any order under the Code, i.e. the Cr.P.C., Provided that all of the above remedies have been exhausted.
- May move to the High Court to seek to pass a writ petition – If an aggrieved individual seeks to file a writ petition or any other order other than that mentioned in the Cr.P.C, then it can be done so by moving to the High court under Article 226, Provided that all of the above remedies have been exhausted.