Lalita Kumari II

As per the law enunciated in Lalita Kumari v. Govt. of Uttar Pradesh, (2014) 2 SCC 1 registration of FIR is mandatory under Section 154, if the information discloses commission of a cognizable offence and the Police Officers are duty bound to register the same.”

3 Judge Bench, In Re: Indian Woman Gang-Raped, (2014) 4 SCC 786.

Thus, this Court has laid down [in Lalita Kumari] that while prompt registration of FIR is mandatory, checks and balances on power of Police are equally important. Power of arrest or of investigation is not mechanical. It requires application of mind in the manner provided. Existence of power and its exercise are different. Delicate balance had to be maintained between the interest of society and liberty of an individual. Commercial offences have been put in the category of cases where FIR may not be warranted without enquiry.

3 Judge Bench, Ramdev Food Products Pvt. Ltd. v. State of Gujarat, 2015 (3) SCALE 622.

We have referred to the aforesaid pronouncement [i.e., Lalita Kumari] for the purpose that on certain circumstances the Police is also required to hold a preliminary enquiry whether any cognizable offence is made out or not.”

2 Judge Bench, Priyanka Srivastava v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2015 (4) SCALE 120.


Therefore, we hold that the preliminary inquiry warranted in Lalita Kumari is not required to be mandatorily conducted in all corruption cases. It has been reiterated by this Court in multiple instances that the type of preliminary inquiry to be conducted will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. There are no fixed parameters on which such inquiry can be said to be conducted. Therefore, any formal and informal collection of information disclosing a cognizable offence to the satisfaction of the person recording the FIR is sufficient.”

2 Judge Bench, The State of Telangana v. Sri Managipet, [Criminal Appeal No. 1662 of 2019].


Also see, 2 Judge Bench, Charansingh v. State of Maharashtra, [Criminal Appeal No. 363 of 2021] decided on 24.03.2021.