Legal Advice

Can Magistrate direct investigation under Section 156(3) on my complaint

Shivendra Pratap Singh


High Court Lucknow

Criminal Law

Reading Time:

Question asked on: 16 Apr, 2022

Question: I have filed a complaint under Section 200 of the code of criminal procedure. When my advocate presented that complaint before the Metropolitan Magistrate, he heard the advocate and directed the police authority to investigate the matter. I want to know that can the Magistrate direct an investigation under Section 156(3) on my complaint? He did not take evidence and take our statement. I think he is doing his job under pressure from police authority because the matter is related to a property dispute with a police officer. Now the police are compelling me to withdraw my complaint. I am in limbo and could not understand what to do in this circumstances. Please help.

Asked from: Uttar Pradesh

The Magistrate has exercised his power as provided to him under the provisions of the code of criminal procedure (crpc). When the Magistrate receives a complaint under Section 200 crpc he can take cognisance of the alleged offence under Section 190(1)(a) crpc. If he takes cognisance then he shall record the statement of the complainant and witnesses thereafter issue the process (summons/warrant) under Section 204 crpc.

It is not mandatory for the Magistrate to take cognisance of offence on each complaint. He has the power to exercise his discretion and do a thing which he deems fit in the facts and circumstances of the case. 

When the Magistrate does not take cognisance but thinks that a thorough investigation would meet the interest of justice, he can direct the police under section 156(3) crpc to conduct an investigation and submit a report under Section 173 crpc. 

The Magistrate, without taking cognisance, can direct the concerned police officer to conduct investigation under Section 156(3) crpc. When the investigating officer submits a report under Section 173 crpc then Magistrate takes cognisance. 

The Magistrate has followed the above provision hence, you cannot say that he is wrong. So far as undue influence of a police officer is concerned, you can take proper action against them. You should move an application to the Magistrate for monitoring of investigation. 

In Sakri Vasu v. State of UP, (2008) 2 SCC 409 the Supreme Court has held that the Magistrate has ampel power to monitor investigation. He can change the investigating officer or call status report from the investigating officer and pass any appropriate order in the interest of fair investigation. 

You should specially mention in the application about the undue influence from the police officers. The Magistrate can direct the superintendent of police to initiate departmental proceedings against those police officers.