SC: Magistrate can’t suo moto direct re/further investigation after discharge

Today, i.e. on 16th April 2019, The Hon’ble Supreme Court, in the matter of Bikash Ranjan Routv. State through the Secretary (Home), Government of NCT of Delhi, New Delhi , pronounced that the Magistrate can neither suo moto  direct for further investigation under Section 173(8) of the CrPC nor direct the reinvestigation into a case at the  post­cognizance stage, more particularly when, in exercise of powers under Section 227 of the CrPC, the Magistrate discharges the accused.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

(Para 7) After the investigation is concluded and the report is forwarded by the police to the Magistrate under Section 173(2)(i) of the CrPC, the learned Magistrate may either :

  1. accept the report and take cognizance of the offence and issue process, or
  2. may disagree  with   the   report  and   drop   the proceedings, or
  3. may direct further investigation under Section 156(3) and require the police to make a further report.

If the Magistrate disagrees with the report and drops the proceedings, the informant is required to be given an opportunity to submit the protest application and thereafter, after giving an opportunity to the informant, the Magistrate may take a further decision whether to drop the proceedings against the accused or not.

If the learned Magistrate accepts the objections, in that case, he may issue process and/or even frame the charges against the accused.

However, it is required to be noted that all the aforesaid is required to be done  at the pre­cognizance stage.

Once   the   learned  Magistrate   takes   the  cognizance   and, considering the materials on record submitted along with the report forwarded by the police  under Section 173(2)(i) of the CrPC, learned Magistrate in exercise of the powers under Section 227 of the CrPC discharges the accused, thereafter, it will not be open for the Magistrate to suo moto order for further investigation and direct the investigating officer to submit the report. (Para 7)

There is a distinction and/or difference between the pre­cognizance stage and post­cognizance stage and the powers to be   exercised by the Magistrate for further investigation at the pre­cognizance stage and post­cognizance stage. The power to order further investigation which may be available to the Magistrate at the pre­cognizance stage may not be available to the Magistrate at the post­cognizance stage, more particularly, when the accused is discharged by him. (Para 7)

(Para 7) Once the order of discharge is passed, thereafter the Magistrate has no jurisdiction to suo moto direct the investigating officer for further investigation and submit the report.  In such a situation, only two remedies are available:

  • a revision application can be filed against the discharge or
  • the Court has to wait till the stage of Section 319 of the CrPC.

The Magistrate cannot  suo  moto  direct for further investigation under Section 173(8) of the CrPC or direct the reinvestigation   into  a   case   at  the   post­cognizance   stage,  more particularly when, in exercise of powers under Section 227 of the CrPC, the Magistrate discharges the accused. (Para 7)

It is always open for the investigating officer to apply for further investigation, even after forwarding the report under sub­section (2) of Section 173 and even after the discharge of the accused.  However, the aforesaid shall be at the instance of the investigating officer/police officer-in­-charge and the Magistrate has no jurisdiction to suo moto pass an  order  for   further   investigation/reinvestigation   after  he discharges the accused. (Para 7)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_16th-Apr-2019

-Tushar Kaushik

2 thoughts on “SC: Magistrate can’t suo moto direct re/further investigation after discharge”

  1. Can i get the citation regarding that writ appeal order of high court can not be executed in execution petition with optaining proper decree against the party

    1. Can i get the citation regarding that writ appeal order of high court can not be executed in execution petition with out optaining proper decree against the party
      Civil Court is bared to execute the Writ appeal order

      Reply

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