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The Delhi High Court Friday cautioned metropolitan magistrates in trial courts against abusing their powers, saying they should strictly abide by the guidelines.

Justice M.C.Garg, giving a slew of directions to the magistrates, ruled that any order should be passed only after applying the judicial mind and this should reflect in their orders.

‘When a magistrate is called upon to pass orders under section 156 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code, at the outset, the magistrate should ensure that before coming to the court, the complainant did approach the police officer in charge of the police station having jurisdiction,’ the court said while quashing forgery charges levelled against two Mumbai-based companies.

Giving relief to Subhkaran Luharuka and Shree Ram Mills Ltd, the court directed the complainant, Utility Premises Pvt Ltd, to deposit Rs.2 lakh with the Delhi Legal Services Authority within one month.

‘The magistrate should form his own opinion whether the facts mentioned in the complaint disclose commission of cognizable offences by the accused persons arrayed in the complaint, which can be tried in his jurisdiction. He should also satisfy himself about the need for investigation by police in the matter,’ the court said.

The court was hearing an petition filed by the Mumbai-based companies seeking quashing of the cases registered against them here without any jurisdiction.

‘The only purpose appears to be an attempt to harass the petitioners just to blackmail them by summoning them to Delhi though neither of the accused is resident of Delhi, nor any other cause has arisen in Delhi,’ the court observed.

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