Dilshad Sheikh and others V/s Sabha Sheikh [CRM(M) 572/2022 CrlM 1586/2022]
The Jammu & Kashmir And Ladakh High Court has held that a complaint sent to police through whatsapp or email is sufficient for providing information in cognizable cases.
A single bench of Justice Javed Iqbal Wani noted that criminal proceedings are not to be scuttled in the initial stage and that quashment of a complaint/FIR should be an exception and a rarity.
The complainant had repeatedly sent her complaints to the SHO (Station House Officer) of the neighborhood police station via WhatsApp chats, and each time the SHO’s reply acknowledged receiving them. After observing inaction, she filed a complaint with the Magistrate pursuant to Section 156(3) CrPC, requesting that the SHO be instructed to take the necessary measures.
The petitioner filed an appeal with the High Court against the preliminary inquiry ruling, claiming that the complainant had broken the rules outlined in Sections 154(1) and 154(3) of the CrPC.
The complainant said that by initially submitting her complaints to the police and giving documentation of these initial reports via emails and WhatsApp chats, she had adhered to the proper protocol.
The court noted that The complainant said that by initially submitting her complaints to the police and giving documentation of these initial reports via emails and WhatsApp chats, she had adhered to the proper protocol.
“Filing of the complaint/application by the respondent herein and its entertaining by the Magistrate and passing of the impugned order cannot be found fault with. Even if it is assumed that the Whatsapp chats and the email aforesaid were not part of the complaint at the time of its filing before the Magistrate as at this stage while examining the validity of the complaint as also the impugned order, non-filing of the same before the Magistrate would be having no effect on the merits of the application now in view of the said material being available before this court”, the court said.
The ruling was delivered by the Single Bench of Jammu & Kashmir And Ladakh High Court comprising Justice P. Sam Koshy and Justice Laxmi Narayana Alishetty.
Advocate Areeb Javid Kawoosa appeared for the Petitioner while the Respondent was represented by Advocate Saqib Shabir