In the case of Satish Kumar v. Bank of Baro, da The Bank of Baroda (BoB) provided a credit card to the complainant. The complainant and his employer allegedly got calls from the Bank demanding money after the credit card bill was not paid, and the callers allegedly threatened him with legal action. Additionally, a PDF file claiming to be a copy of the FIR lodged against the complainant at Connaught Place Police Station was sent to the complainant’s employer via WhatsApp. When the aforementioned FIR was checked, it was shown to be a fake and created document. Additionally, it was claimed that some individuals dressed in police uniforms had visited the complainant’s home and attempted to extort money from him or her.
Analysis of court order
The Single Judge Bench of Yashdeep Chahal said that although the Magistrate has the authority to order the police to register a case and begin an investigation, the power should be exercised judiciously and not in a robotic manner. This is about an application under Section 156(3) CrPC. The goal of the police inquiry is to gather information on offences, according to Sukhwasi v. State of Uttar Pradesh which the court cited. Therefore, a police inquiry is deemed required in circumstances where the evidence was neither in the complainant’s possession nor was capable of production by the witnesses when called at the complainant’s request.
The Court, however, rejected the complainant’s request to make an FIR against the bank manager because there were no particular accusations made against him. The Court further ruled that it could not be disputed that collection agencies were employed by the Bank to retrieve the money. The court also noted that Yash Enterprises registered the phone number from which the calls were made and that the business had acknowledged making the calls using auto-dialling mode. The Court concluded that an investigation according to Section 202 of the CrPC was insufficient to elicit the truth.
The Investigation Officer was free to look into the case from all angles and was not required to focus only on the accused parties, according to the Court. The I.O. was also instructed to get the list of recovery agents working for the Bank and launch a comprehensive inquiry to determine who the erroneous callers were. A hearing date was added for January 6, 2023.