New Delhi: Policemen refusing to register FIRs will face up to one year in jail with the Centre issuing strict instructions to states to prosecute such cops.
The Home Ministry told the states and Union Territories to clearly instruct all police stations that failure to register FIR on receipt of information about any cognisable offence will invite prosecution of the duty police officer under IPC Section 166A (public servant disobeying law) which will invite imprisonment up to one year.
In its latest directive, the Ministry told the states and UTs that policemen should be sensitised to respond to complaints with alacrity, whether it is from man or woman, and must apprehend the accused immediately after the complaint, as there is tendency of persons committing crimes to slip away when there is delay on extraneous grounds like jurisdiction.
There have been allegations that police was dithering in registering FIR in the December 16, 2012 Delhi gang rape case over jurisdictional issue.
There were also allegations that when a five-year-old child was raped in East Delhi in March, police initially refused to register the complaint.
Citing legal position, the Home Ministry advisory said the police must register an FIR upon receipt of information of the commission of a cognisable offence.
Further, if after registration of FIR, upon investigation, it is found that the subject matter relates to jurisdiction of some other police station, the FIR may be appropriately transferred to the police station under which the case falls.
"Moreover, if at the time of registration of FIR, it becomes apparent that the crime was committed outside the jurisdiction of the police station, the police should be appropriately instructed to register a 'Zero' FIR, ensure that the FIR is transferred to the concerned police station," it said.
The Home Ministry said there should be clear instruction by the state governments that the delay over the determination of the jurisdiction leads to avoidable wastage of time which impacts the victim and also leads to offenders getting an opportunity to slip from the clutches of law and that should be stopped.