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Magistrate Cannot Take Cognizance Under Section 156 While Directing Investigation By Police

Raya Banerjee ,
  31 May 2024       Share Bookmark

Court :
Supreme Court of India
Brief :

Citation :
Criminal Appeal No. 2574 of 2024 Special Leave Petition (Crl) No. 2123 of 2024

CASE TITLE:

M/S SAS INFRATECH PVT. LTD vs. STATE OF TELANGANA & Anr

DATE OF ORDER:

May 14, 2024

BENCH:

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Bela M. Trivedi 

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Pankaj Mithal 

PARTIES:

Appellant: M/S SAS INFRATECH PVT. LTD 

Respondent: State of Telangana 

SUBJECT: 

The case involved an appeal against a ruling made by the Hyderabad based High Court of Telangana, brought by M/S SAS INFRATECH PVT. LTD. The Trial Court’s order to conduct an investigation based on the appellant’s complaint was overturned by the High Court on a petition filed by the accused.

IMPORTANT PROVISIONS:

Code of Criminal Procedure:

  • Section 482: High Court’s inherent powers for justice.
  • Section 156(3): It deals with Magistrate orders investigation for cognizable offences.
  • Section 190: Magistrate can take cognizance of offence under certain conditions.
  • Section 200: It says that anyone can file a complaint before a Magistrate to start criminal proceeding.
  • Section 202: Magistrate can delay process issuance for inquiry or investigation.
  • Section 173: It deals with police submit investigation report to Magistrate.

OVERVIEW:

  • An appeal was filed by M/S SAS INFRATECH PVT. LTD. against a ruling rendered by the Telangana High Court 
  • The accused filed a petition under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the High Court granted it, overturning the Trial Court’s June 30, 2023, ruling.
  • By order of the Trial Court, the police were tasked with looking into the complaint in accordance with Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure .
  • The Trial Court’s order was set aside by the High Court, who determined that it lacked sufficient justification.
  • The case was therefore remanded to the Trial Court.

ISSUE RAISED:

What was the primary issue raised in the case regarding the Trial Court’s order directing the investigation under Section 156(3) of Cr. P. C. And how did the High Court’s decision impact it?

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE APPELLANT 

  • According to the appellant, the Trial Court’s order directing an investigation according to Section 156(3) of the Crp. P. C. Was appropriate.
  • After reviewing the case, supporting documentation, and arguments from the appellant’s attorney, they claimed the Trial Court had used its judicial discretion.
  • They argued that the High Court’s involvement with the Trial Court’s ruling was unnecessary, particularly in light of the restricted authority granted by section 482 of Cr. P. C.

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE RESPONDENT:

  • The respondent argued that the decision to set aside the Trial Court’s order was justified by the High Court’s ruling that the order lacked appropriate justification.
  • Drawing on an earlier ruling from the court, they emphasised that the appellant’s complaint was not substantiated by an affidavit.
  • The respondent argued that the Trial Court’s order ought to be overturned because it lacked adequate justification.

JUDGEMENT ANALYSIS:

  • The High Court for the State of Telangana issued a judgement and order that was the subject of the appeal.
  • Leave to appeal had been granted by the Supreme Court.
  • The appeal was granted.
  • The decision made by the High Court was overturned.
  • The June 30, 2023, order of the Trial court had been reinstated.
  • The Trial Court’s order to conduct an investigation pursuant to Code of Criminal Procedure Section 156(3) had been affirmed.
  • The Magistrate’s request for an investigation did not equate to the Supreme Court acknowledging the offence.
  • It had been decided that the High Court’s intervention was improper.
  • The law had been followed in allowing the appeal.

CONCLUSION:

The Supreme Court overruled the ruling of the High Court by granting leave and admitting the appeal. They concluded that the Trial Court’s order, which reinstated the Cr. P. C. Section 156(3) investigative directive, was lawful and proper.

 
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