XYZ vs. State of Madhya Pradesh (2022 SC)

XYZ vs. State of Madhya Pradesh (2022 SC)

XYZ vs. State of Madhya Pradesh (2022 SC)

XYZ vs. State of Madhya Pradesh (2022 SC)

Facts of the Case

The Appellant is working as a yoga instructor at Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education, Gwalior.2 The second Respondent was, at the material time, the Vice-Chancellor of the Institute. The Appellant alleges that in March 2019, the second Respondent touched her inappropriately at the Institute, upon which she disengaged herself and shouted at him. On 14 October 2019, she lodged a complaint at Police Station Gole Ka Mandir, Gwalior. Apprehending that the police had not taken any action, she furnished a complaint to the Superintendent of Police, City Centre, Gwalior on 15 October 2019. Finding that no action had been taken on her complaint, the Appellant submitted another complaint to the Superintendent of Police on 18 February 2020 and to both the Superintendent as well as at the PS Gole Ka Mandir again on 24 February 2020. Eventually, the Appellant moved the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Gwalior Under Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The JMFC came to the conclusion that, prima facie, “occurrence of the offence by the accused persons” was “shown”. Nonetheless, the JMFC held that the case could be decided without collecting evidence from the police and it did not appear just and proper to act on the case filed on behalf of the appellant under Section 156(3) CrPC. The JMFC proceeded to treat the complaint as a complaint case by granting liberty to the appellant to be present for the recording of her statements under Sections 200 and 202 CrPC.

The order of the JMFC was questioned by the appellant under Section 482 CrPC. By an order dated 6 January 2022, a Single Judge of the High Court dismissed the application.

The High Court held that the JMFC was not under an obligation to direct the police to register the FIR and the use of the expression “may” in Section 156(3) CrPC indicated that the JMFC had the discretion to direct the complainant to examine witnesses under Sections 200 and 202 CrPC, instead of directing an investigation under Section 156(3).

Accordingly, the appellant approached the Supreme Court, appealing against the High Court’s order dismissing her application.


Whether Magistrate is under an obligation to direct the police officer to register FIR under section 156(3) of CrPC?

Observation and Decision

In its judgment, the Supreme Court stated that in cases alleging sexual harassment, sexual assault, or any other similar criminal allegation, where the victim may already have traumatized, the courts should press the police to conduct an investigation rather than adding to the complainant’s burden.

The Court stated that adequate consideration must be given to the fact that the complainant is unable to retrieve important evidence pertaining to her complaint, in the absence of such evidence; it may not be possible to determine the truth of the case.

This would translate to the complainant being required to prove her case without being able to bring relevant evidence on record, which would be unjust. Thus, the Court held that the JMFC must have exercised jurisdiction under section 156(3) of CrPC to direct the police to investigate.

Enquire Now

whatsapp-icon Enquire Now Call Now