The Calcutta High Court held that a magistrate cannot dismiss an application under Section 156(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code simply because the complaint was not filed on time. According to Justice Bibek Chaudhuri, the magistrate cannot conclude that the application cannot be recognised as a FIR because of the delay in filing the complaint.
The court went on to say that the Supreme Court’s decision in the Lalita Kumari case makes no provision for dismissing an application under Section 156(3) of the Code on the basis of delay without first sending it to the police authority for a preliminary inquiry or investigation and treating it as a FIR. In this case, the Magistrate dismissed an application under Section 156(3) of the Code, primarily because there was an unusual delay in filing the FIR and beginning criminal proceedings. The magistrate noted that the claimed incident occurred on November 29, 2018, and the petitioner filed the complaint on November 12, 2020, about two years later.
And that the rationale for the delay in filing the lawsuit was inadequate and unconvincing.
The court was told that the Supreme Court’s decision in Lalita Kumari (above) never allows a Magistrate to dismiss an application under Section 156(3) of the Code on the basis of delay altogether.
The court also disagreed with a single-judge decision in Mukul Roy vs. State of West Bengal (2019) Cri.L.J 245 (Cal), which stated that the Magistrate must verify the truth and authenticity of the charges, based on the nature of the case’s allegations.