Proceeding under Section 144 CrPC can be converted to a proceeding under Section 145 CrPC. Although there is no specific provision under the Criminal Procedure Code, various High Courts have held that proceeding drawn under Section 144 CrPC may be converted to a proceeding under 145 CrPC in appropriate cases. This court will like to agree with the above provision.
The next question that comes for determination is when a court can pass order of conversion. In view of the provisions under Section 144(4) CrPC no order passed in a proceeding under Section 144 CrPC shall remain in force for more than two months from the date of making the order thereof. There is a proviso which provides for extension of the period for two months but admittedly the proviso is not applicable in the present case as no such extension was lawfully made. Thus, a Magistrate has jurisdiction/power to pass an order of conversion when the proceeding under Section 144 is alive, that is within a period of two months form the date of initiation of the proceeding. Once the proceeding under Section 144 CrPC lapses due to efflux of time, the Magistrate has no power to pass any order as the proceeding itself has become dead.
It is, therefore, held that in appropriate cases the Magistrate can pass an order of conversion from proceeding under Section 144 CrPC to proceeding under Section 145 CrPC within the period when the proceeding is alive.