A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam said, "We hold registration of FIR is mandatory and no preliminary enquiry is permissible in cognizable offences."
The bench, also comprising justices BS Chauhan, Ranjan P Desai, Ranjan Gogoi and SA Bobde, said action must be taken against erring police officials for not registering FIR in cognizable offences.
"Police officials cannot avoid to register the FIR and action must be taken against them if no FIR is registered," the bench said. It said that preliminary enquiry can be conducted in other cases to find out whether the offence is cognizable or not and such probe must be completed within seven days.
The bench said there is no ambiguity in the law and the legislative intent is for compulsory registration of FIR in cognizable offences.
The constitution bench delivered the verdict after a three-judge bench referred the case to the larger bench on the ground that there were conflicting judgements on the issue.


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