A Metropolitan Magistrate, after taking cognisance of an offence, cannot order further probe in the matter except on the application of a police officer, a sessions court here has said.
Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Kumar, while allowing the revision plea of four murder accused against further probe order of a trial court, said, “I hold that a Magistrate after taking cognisance of the offence cannot order further probe either suo moto or on application of any other person (including complainant) except on the application of police officer”.
“The police has the plenary powers in the matters of investigation and only if an SHO or Investigating Officer(IO) moves an application before the trial court, the court gets powers to order further investigation,” the judge said.
The judge also observed that when the police moves an application seeking permission to investigate, “it is only out of courtesy for maintaining the honour and dignity of the court”, adding that otherwise it is just an intimation that the police is embarking on further probe.
The court, which was hearing the plea of the four accused who had allegedly killed a 17-year-old boy at a wedding ceremony here in 2012, also noted that “hasty, incomplete, half baked charge sheets are being filed in the courts” and in such situations, courts feel the need to order further probe.
“However, once verdict of Supreme Court is before the trial courts, they have no option but to restrain themselves from passing any such order except on the application of police,” it said, while referring to an apex court judgement.
The revision petition filed by the four accused challenged the magistrate’s order for further probe in the case on an application moved by the victim’s father under Section 173(8) (request for further probe) of the CrPC .
The magistrate had allowed this application and directed the Station House Officer to further investigate the case through independent and competent Investigating Officer, who was directed to file the supplementary charge sheet after investigation.