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power of judicial magistrate


Respected Members of LCI,

Kindly confirm whether  Judicial Magistrates have power/authority to direct the IO for further investigation u/s.173 (8) CrPC.

Thanks  in advance.

Deepthisudan.

 
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LEGAL CONSULTANT

MAGISTRATE CAN ORDER FURTHER INVESTIGATION ONLY ON THE REQUEST OF THE IO.

NEW DELHI: A Metropolitan Magistrate, after taking cognisance of an offence, cannot order further probe in the matter except on the application of a police officer, a sessions court here has said.

Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Kumar, while allowing the revision plea of four murder accused against further probe order of a trial court, said, "I hold that a Magistrate after taking cognisance of the offence cannot order further probe either suo moto or on application of any other person (including complainant) except on the application of police officer".

"The police has the plenary powers in the matters of investigation and only if an SHO or Investigating Officer(IO) moves an application before the trial court, the court gets powers to order further investigation," the judge said.

The judge also observed that when the police moves an application seeking permission to investigate, "it is only out of courtesy for maintaining the honour and dignity of the court", adding that otherwise it is just an intimation that the police is embarking on further probe.

The court, which was hearing the plea of the four accused who had allegedly killed a 17-year-old boy at a wedding ceremony here in 2012, also noted that "hasty, incomplete, half baked charge sheets are being filed in the courts" and in such situations, courts feel the need to order further probe.

"However, once verdict of Supreme Court is before the trial courts, they have no option but to restrain themselves from passing any such order except on the application of police," it said, while referring to an apex court judgement.

The revision petition filed by the four accused challenged the magistrate's order for further probe in the case on an application moved by the victim's father under Section 173(8) (request for further probe) of the CrPC .

The magistrate had allowed this application and directed the Station House Officer to further investigate the case through independent and competent Investigating Officer, who was directed to file the supplementary charge sheet after investigation.

The sessions court, however, set aside the trial court's order saying, "I hold that the complainant has no locus standi to file an application under Section 173 (8) CrPC for further investigation and if he does so, the magistrate would not entertain it".

"In case, a party (whether he is complainant or accused) comes with such an application, the magistrate should direct him to the SHO or to the higher police authorities as the case may be," it said.

As per the prosecution, in 2012, accused Sanjay and three others had fired a gun shot at a wedding ceremony which accidentally hit the victim, who died on the spot.

Sanjay and his friends disposed off the body. A case was lodged against them on the complaint of the victim's father and they all were charge sheeted for various offences under IPC, including murder, destruction of evidence and criminal conspiracy.

The magistrate had taken cognisance of the offences and had summoned the accused. In the meantime, victim's father had moved an application seeking further probe, which was allowed by the court.

 

 
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