"A defect or illegality in investigation, however serious, has no direct bearing on the competence or the procedure relating to cognizance or trial. No doubt a police report which results from an investigation is provided in Section 190, Cr.P.C. as the material on which cognizance is taken. But it cannot be maintained that a valid and legal police report is the foundation of the jurisdiction of the Court to take cognizance...
While no doubt, in one sense, Clauses (a), (b) and (c) of Section 190(1) are conditions requisite for taking of cognizance, it is not possible to say that cognizance on an invalid police report is prohibited and is therefore a nullity. Such an invalid report may still fall either under Clause (a) or (b) of Section 190(1), (whether it is the one or the other we need not pause to consider) and in any case cognizance so taken is only in the nature of error in a proceeding antecedent to the trial... If, therefore, cognizance is in fact taken, on a police report vitiated by the breach of a mandatory provision relating to investigation, there can be no doubt that the result of the trial which follows it cannot be set aside unless the illegality in the investigation can be shown to have brought about a miscarriage of justice.."
Rajeev Rastogi & Ors. vs State on 6 January, 2010 (Delhi High Court)
Even if investigation was invalid for want of order of the Magistrate under Section 155(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the police report based upon such an investigation is not nullified and does not become non est merely on account of this procedural lapse in the investigation and it is very much permissible for the Court to take cognizance even of a non-cognizable offence, on the basis of the evidence collected during such an investigation, unless some prejudice is shown to have been caused to the accused for want of requisite order under Section 155(2) of the Code. (this case is also an authority on this point :
The complaint can be oral and need not necessarily be in writing. It is also not necessary that the complaint should be made only by the victim of the crime. Since the Magistrate takes cognizance of the offence, the proceedings on taking cognizance would be initiated even though the persons who had committed the offence were not known at that time. The complainant can also be a public servant. The police officer, who is a public servant is competent to make a complaint and there is nothing in law which prevents a Court from taking cognizance on a complaint made by a police officer, if it discloses the commission of an offence. There is no provision in the Code of Criminal Procedure, which prevents a Magistrate from taking an invalid police report into consideration and taking cognizance on the basis of the facts disclosed in such a report. Kamal Kishore Kalra vs. State‟ 151 (2008) DLT 546 and a recent decision of this Court in Crl.M.C. 642/2009 decided on 11th December, 2009. The cognizance on a complaint filed by a public servant, in discharge of his official duties can be taken without examining him and other witnesses. Hence the cognizance taken in this case cannot be said to be bad in law.)
Adesh Kumar Gupta vs Cbi on 2 September, 2015 (Delhi High Court)
"under Section 155 (2) Cr.P.C., it is always open to the Magistrate either to grant permission or refuse to grant permission. When such a discretion is vested in the Magistrate, it is desirable that the Magistrate shall give reasons while empowering the police officer to investigate into a non-cognizable offence, so that the aggrieved person will be in a position to know the reason for acceptance or rejection of his application, otherwise there is every possibility of misuse of Section 155 (2) Cr.P.C. In case such a power is given to a police officer, he may misuse his official position and harass the accused person (Sajjal Aggarwal Vs State of Andhra Pradesh).
In Tilaknagar Industries Ltd., and Others Vs State of A.P., and another, AIR 2012 SC 521, State of Haryana and Others Vs Bhajan Lal and Others, AIR 1992 SC 604 the Apex Court held that the statutory safeguard given under Section 155 (2) Cr.P.C., of the Code must be strictly followed, since they are conceived in public interest and as a guarantee against frivolous and vexatious investigation."
"it is clear that the Magistrate while either referring the case to the police under Section 156 (3) Cr.P.C., or while ordering investigation into a non-cognizable offence under Section 155 (2) Cr.P.C.,, has to show application of mind to the facts of the case. It may not be necessary for the Magistrate to pass a reasoned order. The order under reference or order directing registration of a non-cognizable offence should contain some information showing application of mind to the case on hand." ON SECTION 156 (3) Mohd. Yousuf vs. Smt. Afaq Jahan & Anr. JT 2006(1) SC 10, this Court observed:
The clear position therefore is that any judicial Magistrate, before taking cognizance of the offence, can order investigation under Section 156(3) of the Code. If he does so, he is not to examine the complainant on oath because he was not taking cognizance of any offence therein. For the purpose of enabling the police to start investigation it is open to the Magistrate to direct the police to register an FIR. There is nothing illegal in doing so. After all registration of an FIR involves only the process of entering the substance of the information relating to the commission of the cognizable offence in a book kept by the officer in charge of the police station as indicated in Section 154 of the Code. Even if a Magistrate does not say in so many words while directing investigating under Section 156(3) of the Code that an FIR should be registered, it is the duty of the officer in charge of the police station to register the FIR regarding the cognizable offence disclosed by the complaint because that police officer could take further steps contemplated in Chapter XII of the Code only thereafter.
State Of Bihar And Anr vs J.A.C. Saldanha And Ors on 13 November, 1979
Equivalent citations: 1980 AIR 326, 1980 SCR (2) 16
The power in the Magistrate to order further investigation under Section 156(3) is an independent power, and does not affect the power of the investigating officer to further investigate the case even after submission of his report vide Section 173(8). Hence the Magistrate can order re-opening of the investigation even after the police submits the final report
It was further held that ''Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. is wide enough to include all such powers in a Magistrate which are necessary for ensuring a proper investigation, and it includes the power to order registration of an F.I.R. and of ordering a proper investigation if the Magistrate is satisfied that a proper investigation has not been done, or is not being done by the police. Section 156(3) Cr.P.C., though briefly worded, in our opinion, is very wide and it will include all such incidental powers as are necessary for ensuring a proper investigation''.- It was further held that '' It is well-settled that when a power is given to an authority to do something it includes such incidental or implied powers which would ensure the proper doing of that thing. In other words, when any power is expressly granted by the statute, there is impliedly included in the grant, even without special mention, every power and every control the denial of which would render the grant itself ineffective. Thus where an Act confers jurisdiction it impliedly also grants the power of doing all such acts or employ such means as are essentially necessary to its execution''.
How SC interpreted implied powers?
'' The reason for the rule (doctrine of implied power) is quite apparent. Many matters of minor details are omitted from legislation. As Crawford observes in his Statutory Construction (3rd edn. page 267):-
If these details could not be inserted by implication, the drafting of legislation would be an indeterminable process and the legislative intent would likely be defeated by a most insignificant omission. In ascertaining a necessary implication, the Court simply determines the legislative will and makes it effective. What is necessarily implied is as much part of the statute as if it were specifically written therein''.
Sakiri Vasu vs State Of U.P. And Others, the Hon'ble Supreme Court held that although Section 156(3) is very briefly worded, there is an implied power in the Magistrate under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. to order registration of a criminal offence and /or to direct the officer in charge of the concerned police station to hold a proper investigation and take all such necessary steps that may be necessary for ensuring a proper investigation including monitoring the same. Even though these powers have not been expressly mentioned in Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. And it was held that they are implied in the above provision.
In Sakiri Vasu vs State Of U.P. And Others, it was further held :-
''If a person has a grievance that his FIR has not been registered by the police station his first remedy is to approach the Superintendent of Police under Section 154(3) Cr.P.C. or other police officer referred to in Section 36 Cr.P.C. If despite approaching the Superintendent of Police or the officer referred to in Section 36 his grievance still persists, then he can approach a Magistrate under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. instead of rushing to the High Court by way of a writ petition or a petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. Moreover he has a further remedy of filing a criminal complaint under Section 200 Cr.P.C. Why then should writ petitions or Section 482 petitions be entertained when there are so many alternative remedies?''
So Supreme Court prefers the litigant to first make use of alternative remedies before approaching the constitutional courts.
What is investigation ?
Supreme Court of India
H. N. Rishbud And Inder Singh vs The State Of Delhi(And Connected ... on 14 December, 1954
Under the code it contains of following steps :
1.proceeding to spot
2.ascertainment of facts and circumstances of the case
3.discovery and arrest of the suspected offender
4.Collection of evidence - (a) by examination of various persons including the accuse , reduction of their statements in writing , if officer thinks fit - b) search of places or seizure of things considered necessary for the investigation and to be produced at the trial and
5.Formation of the pinion as to whether on material collected there is a case to place the accused before a magistrate for trial and if so , taking the necessary steps for the same by filing of a chargesheet under 173
(investigation and miscarriage of justice)
If, therefore, cognizance is in fact taken, on a police report vitiated by the breach of a mandatory provision relating to investigation, there can be no doubt that the result of the trial which follows it cannot be set aside unless the illegality in the investigation can be shown to have brought about a miscarriage of justice. That an illegality committed in the course of investigation does not affect the competence and the jurisdiction of the Court for trial is well settled as appears from the cases in Prabhu v. Emperor(1) and Lumbhardar Zutshi v. The King. These no doubt relate to the illegality of arrest in the course of investigation while we are concerned in the present cases with the illegality with reference to the machinery for the collection of the evidence. This distinction may have a bearing on the question of prejudice or miscarriage of justice, but both the cases clearly show that invalidity of the investigation has no relation to the competence of the Court.
Supreme Court of India
State Of West Bengal & Ors vs Swapan Kumar Guha & Ors on 2 February, 1982
Equivalent citations: 1982 AIR 949, 1982 SCR (3) 121
In my opinion, the legal position is well-settled. The legal position appears to be that if an offence is disclosed, the Court will not normally interfere with an investigation into the case and will permit investigation into the offence alleged to be completed; if, however, the materials do not disclose an offence, no investigation should normally be permitted. The observations of the Judicial Committee and the observations of this Court in the various decisions which I have earlier quoted, make this position abundantly clear. The prepositions enunciated by the Judicial Committee and this Court in the various decisions which I have earlier noted, are based on sound principles of justice. Once an offence is disclosed, an investigation into the offence must necessarily follow in the interests of justice. If, however, no offence is disclosed, an investigation cannot be permitted, as any investigation, in the absence of any offence being disclosed, will result in unnecessary harrassment to a party, whose liberty and property may be put to jeopardy for nothing. The liberty and property of any individual are sacred and sacrosanct and the Court zealously guards them and protects them. An investigation is carried on for the purpose of gathering necessary materials for establishing and proving an offence which is disclosed. When an offence is disclosed, a proper investigation in the interest of justice becomes necessary to collect materials for establishing the offence, and for bringing the offender to book. In the absence of a proper investigation in a case where an offence is disclosed, the offender may succeed in escaping from the consequences and the offender may go unpunished to the deteriment of the cause of justice and the society at large.
Justice requires that a person who commits an offence has to be brought to book and must be punished for the same. If the Court interferes with the proper investigation in a case where an offence has been disclosed, the offence will go unpunished to the serious deteriment of the welfare of the society and the cause of the justice suffers. It is on the basis of this principle that the Court normally does not interfere with the investigation of a case where an offence has been disclosed. The decision on which Mr. Chatterjee has relied are based on this sound principle, and in all these cases, an offence had been disclosed. Relying on the well- settled and sound principle that the Court should not interfere with an investigation into an offence at the stage of investigation and should allow the investigation to be completed, this Court had made the observations in the said decisions which I have earlier quoted reiterating and reaffirming the sound principles of justice. The decisions relied on by Mr. Chatterjee, do not lay down, as it cannot possibly be laid down as a broad proposition of law, that an investigation must necessarily be permitted to continue and will not be prevented by the Court at the stage of investigation even if no offence is disclosed.
While adverting to this specific question as to whether an investigation can go on even if no offence is disclosed, the judicial Committee in the case of King Emperor v. Khwaja Nizam Ahmed (supra) and this Court in R.P. Kapur v. State of Punjab (supra), Jehan Singh v. Delhi Administration (supra), S.N. Sharma v. Bipin Kumar Tiwari (supra) have clearly laid down that no investigation can be permitted and have made the observations which I have earlier quoted and which were relied on by Mr. Sen. As I have earlier observed this proposition is not only based on sound logic but is also based on fundamental principles of justice as a person against whom no offence is disclosed, cannot be put to any harassment by the process of investigation which is likely to put his personal liberty and also property which are considered sacred and sacrosanct into peril and jeopardy.
Whether an offence has been disclosed or not must necessarily depend on the facts and circumstances of each particular case. In considering whether an offence into which an investigation is made or to be made, is disclosed or not, the Court has mainly to take into consideration the complaint or the F.I.R. and the Court may in appropriate cases take into consideration the relevant facts and circumstances of the case. On a consideration of all the relevant materials, the Court has to come to the conclusion whether an offence is disclosed or not. If on a consideration of the relevant materials, the Court is satisfied that an offence is disclosed, the Court will normally not interfere with the investigation into the offence and will generally allow the investigation into the offence to be completed for collecting materials for proving the offence. If, on the other hand, the Court on a consideration of the relevant materials is satisfied that no offence is disclosed, it will be the duty of the Court to interfere with any investigation and to stop the same to prevent any kind of uncalled for and unnecessary harassment to an individual.
Supreme Court of India
Sushila Devi vs State Of Rajasthan & Ors on 24 September, 2013
Court has already in a catena of decisions held and pointed out that the monitoring of a case is continued till the investigation continues but when the investigating agency, which is appointed by the court, completes the investigation, files a charge-sheet and takes steps in the matter in accordance with the provisions of law before a competent court of law, it would not be proper for this Court to keep on monitoring the trial which is continuing before a competent court. Accordingly, Supreme Court was of the opinion that since the investigation has already been completed, charge- sheet has been filed, trial has already commenced, it is not necessary for the Court to continue with the monitoring of the case in question. Supreme Court of India
Dayal Singh & Ors vs State Of Uttaranchal on 3 August, 2012
We hold, declare and direct that it shall be appropriate exercise of jurisdiction as well as ensuring just and fair investigation and trial that courts return a specific finding in such cases, upon recording of reasons as to deliberate dereliction of duty, designedly defective investigation, intentional acts of omission and commission prejudicial to the case of the prosecution, in breach of professional standards and investigative requirements of law, during the course of the investigation by the investigating agency, expert witnesses and even the witnesses cited by the prosecution. Further, the Courts would be fully justified in directing the disciplinary authorities to take appropriate disciplinary or other action in accordance with law, whether such officer, expert or employee witness, is in service or has since retired.
In Ram Bali v. State of Uttar Pradesh [(2004) 10 SCC 598], the judgment in Karnel Singh v. State of M.P. [(1995) 5 SCC 518] was reiterated and this Court had observed that ‘in case of defective investigation the court has to be circumspect while evaluating the evidence. But it would not be right in acquitting an accused person solely on account of the defect; to do so would tantamount to playing into the hands of the investigation officer if the investigation is designedly defective’.
Where our criminal justice system provides safeguards of fair trial and innocent till proven guilty to an accused, there it also contemplates that a criminal trial is meant for doing justice to all, the accused, the society and a fair chance to prove to the prosecution. Then alone can law and order be maintained. The Courts do not merely discharge the function to ensure that no innocent man is punished, but also that a guilty man does not escape. Both are public duties of the judge. During the course of the trial, the learned Presiding Judge is expected to work objectively and in a correct perspective. Where the prosecution attempts to misdirect the trial on the basis of a perfunctory or designedly defective investigation, there the Court is to be deeply cautious and ensure that despite such an attempt, the determinative process is not sub-served. For truly attaining this object of a ‘fair trial’, the Court should leave no stone unturned to do justice and protect the interest of the society as well.
Supreme Court of India
Vinay Tyagi vs Irshad Ali @ Deepak & Ors on 13 December, 2012
investigation can be ordered in varied forms and at different stages. Right at the initial stage of receiving the FIR or a complaint, the Court can direct investigation in accordance with the provisions of Section 156(1) in exercise of its powers under Section 156(3) of the Code. Investigation can be of the following kinds :
(i) Initial Investigation.
(ii) Further Investigation.
(iii) Fresh or de novo or re-investigation.
The initial investigation is the one which the empowered police officer shall conduct in furtherance to registration of an FIR. Such investigation itself can lead to filing of a final report under Section 173(2) of the Code and shall take within its ambit the investigation which the empowered officer shall conduct in furtherance of an order for investigation passed by the court of competent jurisdiction in terms of Section 156(3) of the Code.
‘Further investigation’ is where the Investigating Officer obtains further oral or documentary evidence after the final report has been filed before the Court in terms of Section 173(8). This power is vested with the Executive. It is the continuation of a previous investigation and, therefore, is understood and described as a ‘further investigation’. Scope of such investigation is restricted to the discovery of further oral and documentary evidence. Its purpose is to bring the true facts before the Court even if they are discovered at a subsequent stage to the primary investigation. It is commonly described as ‘supplementary report’. ‘Supplementary report’ would be the correct expression as the subsequent investigation is meant and intended to supplement the primary investigation conducted by the empowered police officer. Another significant feature of further investigation is that it does not have the effect of wiping out directly or impliedly the initial investigation conducted by the investigating agency. This is a kind of continuation of the previous investigation. The basis is discovery of fresh evidence and in continuation of the same offence and chain of events relating to the same occurrence incidental thereto. In other words, it has to be understood in complete contradistinction to a ‘reinvestigation’, ‘fresh’ or ‘de novo’ investigation.
However, in the case of a ‘fresh investigation’, ‘reinvestigation’ or ‘de novo investigation’ there has to be a definite order of the court. The order of the Court unambiguously should state as to whether the previous investigation, for reasons to be recorded, is incapable of being acted upon. Neither the Investigating agency nor the Magistrate has any power to order or conduct ‘fresh investigation’. This is primarily for the reason that it would be opposed to the scheme of the Code. It is essential that even an order of ‘fresh’/’de novo’ investigation passed by the higher judiciary should always be coupled with a specific direction as to the fate of the investigation already conducted. The cases where such direction can be issued are few and far between. This is based upon a fundamental principle of our criminal jurisprudence which is that it is the right of a suspect or an accused to have a just and fair investigation and trial. This principle flows from the constitutional mandate contained in Articles 21 and 22 of the Constitution of India. Where the investigation ex facie is unfair, tainted, mala fide and smacks of foul play, the courts would set aside such an investigation and direct fresh or de novo investigation and, if necessary, even by another independent investigating agency. As already noticed, this is a power of wide plenitude and, therefore, has to be exercised sparingly. The principle of rarest of rare cases would squarely apply to such cases. Unless the unfairness of the investigation is such that it pricks the judicial conscience of the Court, the Court should be reluctant to interfere in such matters to the extent of quashing an investigation and directing a ‘fresh investigation’. In the case of Sidhartha Vashisht v. State (NCT of Delhi) [(2010) 6 SCC 1], the Court stated that it is not only the responsibility of the investigating agency, but also that of the courts to ensure that investigation is fair and does not in any way hamper the freedom of an individual except in accordance with law. An equally enforceable canon of the criminal law is that high responsibility lies upon the investigating agency not to conduct an investigation in a tainted or unfair manner. The investigation should not prima facie be indicative of a biased mind and every effort should be made to bring the guilty to law as nobody stands above law de hors his position and influence in the society. The maxim contra veritatem lex nunquam aliquid permittit ( The law never suffers anything contrary to truth) applies to exercise of powers by the courts while granting approval or declining to accept the report. In the case of Gudalure M.J. Cherian & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors. [(1992) 1 SCC 397], this Court stated the principle that in cases where charge-sheets have been filed after completion of investigation and request is made belatedly to reopen the investigation, such investigation being entrusted to a specialized agency would normally be declined by the court of competent jurisdiction but nevertheless in a given situation to do justice between the parties and to instil confidence in public mind, it may become necessary to pass such orders. Further, in the case of R.S. Sodhi, Advocate v. State of U.P. [1994 SCC Supp. (1) 142], where allegations were made against a police officer, the Court ordered the investigation to be transferred to CBI with an intent to maintain credibility of investigation, public confidence and in the interest of justice. Ordinarily, the courts would not exercise such jurisdiction but the expression ‘ordinarily’ means normally and it is used where there can be an exception. It means in the large majority of cases but not invariably. ‘Ordinarily’ excludes extra- ordinary or special circumstances. In other words, if special circumstances exist, the court may exercise its jurisdiction to direct ‘fresh investigation’ and even transfer cases to courts of higher jurisdiction which may pass such directions.
[When a court orders re-investigation, if there is no specific direction that the previous investigation will not form part record of the case, such record will be deemed to be part of the record of the case. If the Court wants to exclude the previous investigation from the case, it will have to pass a specific direction for that. After an accused is acquitted in a trial, there is a bar to reinvestigation on the same charges.
This is due to the rule against double jeopardy, which is a constitutional protection enshrined under Article 20(2) of the Constitution of India and also, Section 300(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure states that a person who has been once tried by a Court of competent jurisdiction for an offence and convicted or acquitted of such offence, cannot be tried again for the same offence while the order of conviction of acquittal remains in force.
Re-investigation is possible only on fresh charges, which were not earlier raised against the accused, which are based on a fresh set of facts and substantial evidence.]
Having analysed the provisions of the Code and the various judgments as afore-indicated, we would state the following conclusions in regard to the powers of a magistrate in terms of Section 173(2) read with Section 173(8) and Section 156(3) of the Code :
1. The Magistrate has no power to direct ‘reinvestigation’ or ‘fresh investigation’ (de novo) in the case initiated on the basis of a police report.
2. A Magistrate has the power to direct ‘further investigation’ after filing of a police report in terms of Section 173(6) of the Code.
3. The view expressed in (2) above is in conformity with the principle of law stated in Bhagwant Singh’s case (supra) by a three Judge Bench and thus in conformity with the doctrine of precedence.
4. Neither the scheme of the Code nor any specific provision therein bars exercise of such jurisdiction by the Magistrate. The language of Section 173(2) cannot be construed so restrictively as to deprive the Magistrate of such powers particularly in face of the provisions of Section 156(3) and the language of Section 173(8) itself. In fact, such power would have to be read into the language of Section 173(8).
5. The Code is a procedural document, thus, it must receive a construction which would advance the cause of justice and legislative object sought to be achieved. It does not stand to reason that the legislature provided power of further investigation to the police even after filing a report, but intended to curtail the power of the Court to the extent that even where the facts of the case and the ends of justice demand, the Court can still not direct the investigating agency to conduct further investigation which it could do on its own.
6. It has been a procedure of proprietary that the police has to seek permission of the Court to continue ‘further investigation’ and file supplementary chargesheet. This approach has been approved by this Court in a number of judgments. This as such would support the view that we are taking in the present case.
In Zahira Habibulla H. Sheikh v State of Gujarat , commonly known as "Best Bakery Case", the Supreme Court ordered retrial of the case by setting aside the judgment of the Gujarat High Court that had confirmed the order of acquittal passed by the trial court. The apex court noted that investigation was faulty and biased. The prosecution was also not properly conducted, the Court found. Many witnesses had to turn hostile under coercion due to failure of state to make them feel secure.
In Rama Chaudhary vs State Of Bihar (on 2 April, 2009) the Supreme Court held that law does not mandate taking prior permission from the Magistrate for further investigation.
What is duty of court if there is defective investigation?
Lapses in Investigation
In C. Muniappan and Ors. v. State of Tamil Nadu MANU/SC/0655/2010 : (2010) 9 SCC 567, Supreme Court explained the law on this point in the following manner:
There may be highly defective investigation in a case. However, it is to be examined as to whether there is any lapse by the IO and whether due to such lapse any benefit should be given to the accused. The law on this issue is well settled that the defect in the investigation by itself cannot be a ground for acquittal. If primacy is given to such designed or negligent investigations or to the omissions or lapses by perfunctory investigation, the faith and confidence of the people in the criminal justice administration would be eroded. Where there has been negligence on the part of the investigating agency or omissions, etc. which resulted in defective investigation, there is a legal obligation on the part of the court to examine the prosecution evidence dehors such lapses, carefully, to find out whether the said evidence is reliable or not and to what extent it is reliable and as to whether such lapses affected the object of finding out the truth. Therefore, the investigation is not the solitary area for judicial scrutiny in a criminal trial. The conclusion of the trial in the case cannot be allowed to depend solely on the probity of investigation.
Difference between 202 and 156 (3) investigation
Supreme Court of India
Mohd. Yousuf vs Smt. Afaq Jahan & Anr on 2 January, 2006
Section 156 falling within Chapter XII, deals with powers of police officers to investigate cognizable offences. Investigation envisaged in Section 202 contained in Chapter XV is different from the investigation contemplated under Section 156 of the Code. Chapter XII of the Code contains provisions relating to "information to the police and their powers to investigate", whereas Chapter XV, which contains Section 202, deals with provisions relating to the steps which a Magistrate has to adopt while and after taking cognizance of any offence on a complaint. Provisions of the above two chapters deal with two different facets altogether, though there could be a common factor i.e. complaint filed by a person. Section 156, falling within Chapter XII deals with powers of the police officers to investigate cognizable offences. True, Section 202, which falls under Chapter XV, also refers to the power of a Magistrate to "direct an investigation by a police officer". But the investigation envisaged in Section 202 is different from the investigation contemplated in Section 156 of the Code. The various steps to be adopted for investigation under Section 156 of the Code have been elaborated in Chapter XII of the Code. Such investigation would start with making the entry in a book to be kept by the officer in charge of a police station, of the substance of the information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence. The investigation started thereafter can end up only with the report filed by the police as indicated in Section 173 of the Code. The investigation contemplated in that chapter can be commenced by the police even without the order of a Magistrate. But that does not mean that when a Magistrate orders an investigation under Section 156(3) it would be a different kind of investigation. Such investigation must also end up only with the report contemplated in Section 173 of the Code. But the significant point to be noticed is, when a Magistrate orders investigation under Chapter XII he does so before he takes cognizance of the offence. But a Magistrate need not order any such investigation if he proposes to take cognizance of the offence. Once he takes cognizance of the offence he has to follow the procedure envisaged in Chapter XV of the Code. A reading of Section 202(1) of the Code makes the position clear that the investigation referred to therein is of a limited nature. The Magistrate can direct such an investigation to be made either by a police officer or by any other person. Such investigation is only for helping the Magistrate to decide whether or not there is sufficient ground for him to proceed further. This can be discerned from the culminating words in Section 202(1) i.e. "or direct an investigation to be made by a police officer or by such other person as he thinks fit, for the purpose of deciding whether or not there is sufficient ground for proceeding".
This is because he has already taken cognizance of the offence disclosed in the complaint, and the domain of the case would thereafter vest with him. The clear position therefore is that any Judicial Magistrate, before taking cognizance of the offence, can order investigation under Section 156(3) of the Code. If he does so, he is not to examine the complainant on oath because he was not taking cognizance of any offence therein. For the purpose of enabling the police to start investigation it is open to the Magistrate to direct the police to register an FIR. There is nothing illegal in doing so. After all registration of an FIR involves only the process of entering the substance of the information relating to the commission of the cognizable offence in a book kept by the officer in charge of the police station as indicated in Section 154 of the Code. Even if a Magistrate does not say in so many words while directing investigation under Section 156(3) of the Code that an FIR should be registered, it is the duty of the officer in charge of the police station to register the FIR regarding the cognizable offence disclosed by the complaint because that police officer could take further steps contemplated in Chapter XII of the Code only thereafter.
Whether order under 156 (3) is subject to revision ? Delhi High Court
Nishu Wadhwa vs Siddharth Wadhwa & Anr on 10 January, 2017
Court holds that the revision petition filed by respondent No.1 before learned Additional Sessions Judge was maintainable and though the Magistrate could have directed invoking of offences alleged in the FIR/complaint but not invoked in the case diary during investigation but it lacked the territorial jurisdiction to direct SHO, PS Vivek Vihar to add sections to the FIR. Now 156 (3) order can be issued till the stage of trial : CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS.478-479 OF 2017
Vinubhai Haribhai Malaviya and Ors. … Appellants
The State of Gujarat and Anr.
Section 2(h) is not noticed by the aforesaid judgment at all, resulting in the erroneous finding in law that the power under Section 156(3) can only be exercised at the pre-cognizance stage. The "investigation" spoken of in Section 156(3) would embrace the entire process, which begins with the collection of evidence and continues until charges are framed by the Court, at which stage the trial can be said to have begun. For these reasons, the statement of the law contained in paragraph 17 in Devarapalli Lakshminarayana Reddy (supra) cannot be relied upon.
It is thus clear that the Magistrate's power under Section 156(3) of the CrPC is very wide, for it is this judicial authority that must be satisfied that a proper investigation by the police takes place. To ensure that a "proper investigation" takes place in the sense of a fair and just investigation by the police - which such Magistrate is to supervise - Article 21 of the Constitution of India mandates that all powers necessary, which may also be incidental or implied, are available to the Magistrate to ensure a proper investigation which, without doubt, would include the ordering of further investigation after a report is received by him under Section 173(2); and which power would continue to enure in such Magistrate at all stages of the criminal proceedings until the trial itself commences. Indeed, even textually, the "investigation" referred to in Section 156(1) of the CrPC would, as per the definition of "investigation" under Section 2(h), include all proceedings for collection of evidence conducted by a police officer; which would undoubtedly include proceedings by way of further investigation under Section 173(8) of the CrPC "There is no good reason given by the Court in these decisions as to why a Magistrate’s powers to order further investigation would suddenly cease upon process being issued, and an accused appearing before the Magistrate, while concomitantly, the power of the police to further investigate the offence continues right till the stage the trial commences. Such a view would not accord with the earlier judgments of this Court, in particular, Sakiri (supra), Samaj Parivartan Samudaya (supra), Vinay Tyagi (supra), and Hardeep Singh (supra); Hardeep Singh (supra) having clearly held that a criminal trial does not begin after cognizance is taken, but only after charges are framed. What is not given any importance at all in the recent judgments of this Court is Article 21 of the Constitution and the fact that the Article demands no less than a fair and just investigation. To say that a fair and just investigation would lead to the conclusion that the police retain the power, subject, of course, to the Magistrate’s nod under Section 173(8) to further investigate an offence till charges are framed, but that the supervisory jurisdiction of the Magistrate suddenly ceases mid-way through the pre-trial proceedings, would amount to a travesty of justice, as certain cases may cry out for further investigation so that an innocent person is not wrongly arraigned as an accused or that a prima facie guilty person is not so left out. There is no warrant for such a narrow and restrictive view of the powers of the Magistrate, particularly when such powers are traceable to Section 156(3) read with Section 156(1), Section 2(h), and Section 173(8) of the CrPC, as has been noticed hereinabove, and would be available at all stages of the progress of a criminal case before the trial actually commences. It would also be in the interest of justice that this power be exercised suo motu by the Magistrate himself, depending on the facts of each case. Whether further investigation should or should not be ordered is within the discretion of the learned Magistrate who will exercise such discretion on the facts of each case and in accordance with law. If, for example, fresh facts come to light which would lead to inculpating or exculpating certain persons, arriving at the truth and doing substantial justice in a criminal case are more important than avoiding further delay being caused in concluding the criminal proceeding. Therefore, to the extent that the judgments in Amrutbhai Shambubhai Patel (supra), Athul Rao (supra) and Bikash Ranjan Rout (supra) have held to the contrary, they stand overruled. Needless to add, Randhir Singh Rana v. State (Delhi Administration) (1997) 1 SCC 361 and Reeta Nag v. State of West Bengal and Ors. (2009) 9 SCC 129 also stand overruled. We now come to certain other judgments that were cited before us. King Emperor v. Khwaja Nazir Ahmad AIR 1945 PC 18, was strongly relied upon by Shri Basant for the proposition that unlike superior Courts, Magistrates did not possess any inherent power under theCrPC. Since we have grounded the power of the Magistrate to order further investigation until charges are framed under