Justice Prithviraj K. Chavan of the Bombay High Court in the case of Vikas Ravindra Bandgar v. State of Maharashtra and anr. had held that a police officer of the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police has the duty to first register a First Infomration Resport (FIR) and the investigate. The DSP has no authority of first inquiring and then registering a FIR for allegations of caste abuse under Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
The petitioner in this case was challenging an order “passed by Additional Sessions Judge in Baramati directing issuance of process against the appellant under Sections 477, 504, 506 of the Indian Penal Code and under Section 3(1)(r) and (s) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989”.
After hearing contentions from both the sides, the court accepted the submission by Respondent No. 2 that the complaints in case of SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act have to be inquired and investigated by an officer of Deputy SP Rank. It was held that it was improper to get the matter investigated by Head Constable. The DSP also filed an affidavit in 2020 and admitted the illegality for directing the head constable to issue summons to the complainant and accused for inquiry. He also submitted that this illegality o his part was neither deliberate not intentional.
The court further referred to the case of Union of India v. State of Maharashtra in which it was observed that the “Dy.S.P. has no authority under the law to first inquire and then to register FIR. It is his duty to first record the FIR and then proceed to investigate the matter”. The HC therefore, dismissed the appeal and directed the Superintendent of Police, Rural Pune to take appropriate action against the Deputy Superintendent of Police for breaching his duty.