18 Jan 2121

Reinvestigation can be done by Investigating officer even after the cognizance is taken - Karnataka High Court

Case : Puttama v. State of Karnataka Criminal Petition No. 3448 of 2017

Court : Karnataka High Court

Bench : Justice K. Somashekar

Decided on : 18 Jan 2121

Relevant Section

Section 482, 173(8), of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973

Sections 448, 403, 506 read with section 34 of the Indian Penal Code,1860

Brief Facts and Procedural History

1. The petitioner has challenged the order dated 11.08.2016 in a criminal complaint of 2015 and had sought to set aside the order and thereby to allow the application filed under Section 173(8) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

2. Subsequent to registration of the crime, the Investigating Officer has investigated the case and laid the charge-sheet against the accused before the Judicial Magistrate having jurisdiction to deal with the case against the accused. 

3. The petitioner in her complaint has stated against Respondents that her father had given her a house for living after the death of her husband. After the death of his first wife, her father had married for the second time. Later on, her father’s brother and her stepmother had joined hands to harass her in all aspects. The petitioner had gone along with her husband to the village for harvesting the ragi crop. Her two children had been left at her brother in law’s place. While the petitioner returned to her house at that time, she found a car and a Tempo carrying all the household articles. At that time, one of the respondents had assaulted her and threw her out of the house and Respondent went away in the car.

4. On the basis of the complaint the police had registered the FIR and investigated the matter and also filed a charge sheet against the accused however, during the pendency of the criminal proceeding against the accused, the petitioner had filed an application under Section 173 (8) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for re-investigation of the case on the account that the police’s investigation is incorrect.

The Issues of the Case

Whether a judicial magistrate direct re-investigation of the matter once the cognizance has already been taken under Section 173(8) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973?

Whether High Court can exercise power under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 with regard to section 173(8) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973?

The Observations of the Court

1. The Honourable High Court of Karnataka observed that Section 173(8) of Code of Criminal Procedure,1973 has given scope to the Investigating Agency to proceed further and proper investigation to be carried out by the Investigating Agency and during the investigation, materials documents shall be collected and so also, the entire articles or objects said to have been stated in the application filed by the victim/complainant. But Section 173(8) of Code of Criminal Procedure,1973. states that though the Court ordinarily should not interfere with the statutory powers of the Investigating Agency in the facts and circumstances of the case and even filing an application by the complainant for seeking further investigation and to submit additional charge-sheet, it is the scope and object of Section 173(8) of Code of Criminal Procedure,1973. for proper adjudication of the criminal law against the accused. The doctrine of beyond reasonable doubt and benefit of the doubt is the concept in the criminal justice delivery system that unless the investigation has to be carried out without any obstacles and even to exercise power under Section 173(8) of the Code of Criminal Procedure,1973 Though the domain vested with the Trial Court for appreciation of evidence, it may not arise in a proper perspective for the arrival of a right conclusion to prove the guilt of the accused by facilitating the worthwhile evidence.

2. With regard to the second issue the Honourable High Court of Karnataka observed that the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court given under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 can be exercised in respect of substantive as well as procedural matters. It can as well be exercised in respect of incidental or supplemental power irrespective of the nature of proceedings.

The Decision Held by the Court

The Honourable High Court of Karnataka has set aside the order given by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate and directed the Investigating Officer to investigate further in respect of the application filed by the petitioner under section 173(8) of the Code of Criminal Procedure,1973.

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