Every citizen entitled to copy of an NC
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Mumbai: All those complaints that are lodged as an ‘NC’ (non-cognisable
complaint) need no longer be mere jottings in the police diary to
which the complainant has no access. The Maharashtra government
has assured the Bombay high court that soon the police will provide
a copy of complaints filed in non-cognisable offences.
This move that is expected to materialise after six months—the state
has to change the existing book of complaints and replace it with
a printed format—will help citizens who go to the police and are
told that the offence is not cognisable and hence no first information
report (FIR) is required. A city doctor Sunil Mishra had moved the
high court complaining that the police only registered an ‘NC’ on
a complaint that a person was threatening him to sign a cheque.
He wanted the police to arrest the person and wanted a copy of his
But the court said the police was right since there was no proof
in the complaint to substantiate the charges. It, however, noted
that the police never gave copies of NC complaints and asked the
principal secretary (home) P P Srivastava why that was so and whether
copies could be given free of cost. The secretary informed that
there was no provision in law to provide copies to the complainant.
Besides, he said, if the police start doing so it would increase
This explanation did not satisfy the court which said that overburdening
of police duties was no reason not to give copies of NC complaints.
Justices R M S Khandeparkar and P V Kakade said, “If a complainant
has a copy of his complaint, when he goes before a magistrate to
file a private complaint, the court could rely on it’’.
As things stand today, the police are only supposed to give the
complaint number and the complainant usually does not even know
what the police has recorded in the complaint book.
The police do not have powers to investigate an NC complaint and
certainly cannot arrest a person on the basis of such an offence.
A complainant has to go before a magistrate to pursue the matter.
However, the secretary later informed the court that the state had
in principle taken the decision to supply NC complaint copies free
of cost to the complainant but the implementation would require
six months as the present NC register needs to be changed and a
new one needs to be printed in the government press for circulation
to all police stations.
The judges accepted the secretary’s assurance and called for a compliance
report in December 2005.