Magistrate Can Adopt Following Alternatives While Taking Cognizance

Magistrate : The Apex Court in the case of Tularam and Ors. v. Kishore Singh, AIR 1977 SC 2401 has laid down the law as follows :-

That a Magistrate can order investigation under Section 156(3) only at the pre-cognizance stage, that is to say, before taking cognizance under Sections 190, 200 and 204 and where a Magistrate decides to take cognizance under the provisions of Chapter 14 he is not entitled in law to order any investigation under Section 156(3) though in cases not falling within the proviso to Section 202 he can order an investigation by the police which would be in the nature of an enquiry as contemplated by Section 202 of the Code.

Where a Magistrate chooses to take cognizance he can adopt any of the following alternatives :

  • (a) He can peruse the complaint and if satisfied that there are sufficient grounds for proceeding he can straightway issue process to the accused but before he does so he must comply with the requirements of Section 202 and record the evidence of the complainant or his witnesses.
  • (b) The Magistrate can postpone the issue of process and direct an enquiry by any other person or an investigation by the police.

In case the Magistrate after considering the Statement of the complainant and the witnesses or as a result of the investigation and the enquiry ordered is not satisfied that there are sufficient grounds for proceeding he can dismiss the complaint.

Where a Magistrate orders investigation by the police before taking cognizance under Section 156 (3) of the Code and receives the report thereupon he can act on the report and discharge the accused or straightway issue process against the accused or apply his mind to the complaint filed before him and take action under Section 190 as described above.

See Also : Keshri Singh Vs. State [Madhya Pradesh High Court, 04-11-2016]