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Police Can't Refuse To Conduct Investigation After Magistrate Has Accepted Complaint U/S 200 CrPC: Karnataka High Court

Mustafa Plumber
16 May 2022 11:00 AM GMT
Karnataka High Court
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The Karnataka High Court has said that once the court accepts the complaint filed under section 200 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and directs particular police to investigate, the police cannot decline to investigate.

A single judge bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna while allowing the petition filed by one Ashwini set aside the order of the endorsement dated 26.08.2021, issued by the Police and directed the police to investigate and file a final report in the matter as directed by the IX Additional Metropolitan Magistrate, Bengaluru, on 14.07.2021.

Case Details:

The petitioner on certain allegations registered a private complaint under Section 200 of the Cr.P.C. before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Bangalore, seeking investigation under Section 156(3) of the Cr.P.C. The complaint was presented in the open Court, the office was directed to register the case as PCR and the same was registered.

Further, the Magistrate heard the counsel for the complainant, perused the records and ordered investigation to be conducted by the jurisdictional police – Jnanabharathi Police Station and to submit a final report in the matter by his order dated 18.10.2021.

On the communication of the said complaint to the jurisdictional Police, an endorsement was issued by the respondent - Jnanabharathi Police Station that the jurisdiction lies with Byadarahalli Police and therefore, sought to transfer the complaint from Jnanabharathi Police Station, who was directed to investigate, to Byadarahalli Police Station.

Thereafter, a notice was issued to the petitioner and the complaint was returned to the petitioner for want of jurisdiction to investigate the offence, as according to the Police, the jurisdiction lied with Byadarahalli Police. It is this action that was called in question in the subject petition.

Submissions:

Advocate Trivikram S for the petitioner submitted that the action of the respondent-Police in refusing to investigate the matter and file a final report as directed by the Court would amount to sitting over the order of a Court and therefore, is illegal. Further he said that once the order of the Magistrate was set in motion, the same cannot be recalled even by the Magistrate himself, let alone returning of the complaint by the Police.

The government pleader admitted the legal position and submitted that the matter is to be investigated by the respondent - police.

Court findings:

The bench on going through the details on record and arguments advanced by the counsel said, "The police refusing to conduct investigation and returning the complaint would on the face of it amount to overriding the orders of the Court, which jurisdiction the police do not possess."

It added, "Once the Court accepts the complaint and directs particular police to investigate, declining to investigate such cases, cannot arise. The police ought to have investigated and filed its final report in the matter. Returning of the complaint after the same having been accepted and investigation directed, that too by the police, runs counter to Section 173 of the Cr.P.C."

Following which it allowed the petition.

Case Title: Ashwini v. State of Karnataka

Case No: WRIT PETITION No.755 OF 2022

Citation; 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 160

Date of Order: 13TH DAY OF APRIL, 2022

Appearance: Advocate TRIVIKRAM S for petitioner; Advocate YASHODA K.P for respondent

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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