Magistrate not bound to examine the Complainant while dismissing Complaint U/S 203 CrPC; Gujarat HC upholds dismissal of Complaint against PM Modi [Read Judgment]

Magistrate not bound to examine the Complainant while dismissing Complaint U/S 203 CrPC; Gujarat HC upholds dismissal of Complaint against PM Modi [Read Judgment]

Final  report under Section 173(2) is very exhaustive and the Investigating Officer has taken pains to take care of each and every aspect of the matter. The impugned order (by CJM dismissing complaint) does not suffer from any error, not to speak of any error of law, the High court held.

Gujarat High Court dismissed a revision application against the order of Chief Judicial Magistrate dismissing a complaint against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Justice J.B. Pardiwala dismissing the revision plea, filed by original complainant who alleged that Modi violated the Poll code during 2014 General elections, said that order of Magistrate does not suffer from any error.

Background

In May, 2015, The CJM had dismissed the complaint alleging poll code violation, saying that records produced before this court do not reveal any material necessary for taking cognisance and the investigation is just and proper and no prima facie case against any accused is made out. The report, submitted by the Police, read “There is absolutely no evidence (both in the nature of oral and documentary evidence) suggesting that Shri Narendra Modi was holding  and/or  displaying  “white  coloured  lotus” symbol in his hand”. The original complainant, then approached the High Court against this order of dismissal of his complaint.

Final report exhaustive, Complainant did not produce any fresh evidence

The court noted that the final report is very exhaustive and the Investigating Officer has taken pains to take care of each and every aspect of the matter. “The report is running in about 80 pages and in the report, each of the offence as alleged and its ingredients have been considered along with the evidence oral as well as documentary collected in the course of the inquiry” the court said. Rejecting the contention that the complainant should have been given an opportunity to adduce the necessary evidence to show that the final report is incorrect and wrong, the court said that that giving permission to challenge the report or adduce the counter evidence is not only warranted by Sections 202 and 203, but would negative the very purpose of those sections. Moreover, the court remarked “On none of the dates of adjournment in the case before the learned Magistrate which were not less than 12 in numbers,  the  Revisionist herein  thought  fit  to  produce  any  fresh evidence, documentary or oral in support of his charges against the respondent No.2.”

Magistrate not bound to examine complainant while dismissing a complaint

The court also rejected the argument of the complainant that Magistrate is bound to examine the complainant and his witnesses on oath, before he dismisses the complaint. Justice Pardiwala said “I do not find anything in Section 203 of  the  Cr.P.C.,  which  would  cast  any  duty  upon  the  Magistrate  to examine the witnesses on his own….The words “if any” under Section 203 obviously go with the words previously occurring in the section, that is, with the words “the statement on oath”, and the words “statement on oath of the complainant and the witnesses” can only refer to such statement taken either under Section 200 or Section 202, for section 203 does not provide for any examination either of the complainant or witnesses.

Read the Judgment here.