September 11, 2018
Case name: Sri Indranil Mukherjee v. The State of West Bengal & anr.
The seminal issue that fell for consideration before the High Court of Calcutta was whether after taking cognizance on charge sheet, Judicial Magistrate can order further investigation under Section 173(8) of the Criminal Procedure Code?
In the case, the Petitioner on being aggrieved with the charge-sheet, filed an application for further investigation under Section 173(8) of the Code, however the Magistrate rejected the same and subsequently petitioner has sought for setting aside the order impugned, on the grounds that despite specific allegation against the respondent no. 2 in the FIR, neither the same was considered by the I.O. during investigation nor the Magistrate considered it while taking cognizance on the charge sheet.
The High Court of Calcutta in view of the facts and circumstances of the case held that in the larger interest of the justice and for fair trial, it is imperative for the Magistrate to grant further investigation.
- The High Court observed that in the present case charge sheet has been submitted against one accused and another accused was not sent up who allegedly assaulted the complainant. It was the complainant who approached the learned Magistrate only after having the information and notice with regard to the submission of the charge sheet. Therefore, it was expedient on the part of the learned Magistrate to have disposed of the application for further investigation under Section 173 (8) of the Code. Thus, the Court opined that the Magistrate has ample power to direct further investigation after submission of the charge sheet by the police even when cognizance has been taken on the charge sheet.
- The Court held that the submission of a report under Section 173(2) does not preclude the power of the Magistrate to direct further investigation by the investigating agency and submission of supplementary charge sheet thereon notwithstanding the Magistrate has taken cognizance of the offence on a police report submitted under the said provision although such power may be precluded at the culminating stage of trial after cognisance has been taken on framing of charge against the accused on the basis of the Final Report.
- The High Court opined that in the larger interest of the justice and for fair trial, it is imperative for the Magistrate to grant further investigation because if the order impugned is allowed to be sustained, it will amount to arming the police with unbridled power to exonerate any person from the periphery of the investigation and it would be playing into the hands of the I.O. who submitted the charge sheet against one accused exonerating another by not sent up him in the charge sheet with an ulterior design.
The entire case can be accessed here.