Supreme Court limits Magistrate’s power in criminal trials.
On Thursday, Supreme Court expounded that Magistrate cannot order further investigation after cognizance has been taken, process has been issued and also the accused has entered appearance in response thereto.
Apex Court Bench comprising of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Amitava Roy enunciated that,”Though investigating agency concerned has been invested with power to undertake further investigation desirably after informing Court thereof, before which it had submitted its report and obtaining its approval, no such power is available.’
SC said, ‘therefore to Magistrate after cognizance has been taken on basis of earlier report, process has been issued and the accused has entered appearance in response thereto”.
Apex Court further added that,“At that stage, neither Magistrate suo motu nor on an application filed by complainant/informant direct further investigation. Such a course would be open only on request of investigating agency and that too, in the circumstances warranting further investigation on detection of the material evidence only to secure fair investigation and trial, the life purpose of adjudication in hand”.
Supreme Court stated that,”Investigating agency/officer has been alone authorized to conduct further investigation without limiting the stage of proceedings relatable thereto”.
Apex Court Bench while distinguishing power of the Magistrate to order investigation under S.202(1) of Cr.PC. expounded that,”The direction for investigation by Magistrate under Section 202, while dealing with a complaint, though is at a post-cognizance stage, it is in nature of an inquiry to derive satisfaction as to whether proceedings initiated ought to be furthered or not”.