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The State of Tripura Vs. Bimal Chakraborty and Ors. - (High Court of Tripura) (03 Jan 2019)

Magistrate is not bound by the conclusion drawn by the police officer



The State by means of present revision petition filed under Section 397 read with Section 401 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) has challenged the order delivered by the Special Judge, but the challenge is restricted to refusal to take cognizance of the police report filed under Section 173(2) of the CrPC in connection with Case registered under Section 409/468/471 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and under Section 13 of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 read with Section 120-B of the IPC.

It is by now well settled that the Magistrate is not bound by the conclusion drawn by the police officer. After receipt of the police report, the Magistrate can do one of the three things under Section 173(3) of the Cr.P.C. viz.-(i) he may decide that there is no sufficient ground for proceeding further and drop action, (ii) he may take cognizance of the offence under Section 190(1)(b) on the basis of the materials in the police report and (iii) he may direct the further investigation by the police. Therefore, in a police report, the materials which are placed are to be independently scrutinized by the Magistrate for taking cognizance.

The police report which is filed on completion of the investigation is in the form as prescribed by the State. Sub-Section 5 of Section 173 of the CrPC makes it obligatory upon the police officer to forward along with the report all documents or relevant extracts thereof on which the prosecution proposes to rely and the statements recorded under Section 161 of the CrPC of all the persons whom the prosecution proposes to examine as the witness of the trial.

The police report would imply the report prepared on the materials collected on or before the date when the report has been framed. The police officer is not authorized by law to say that the investigation is continuing at the time of filing the police report. The report is mandated to be filed on completion of the investigation. Further, investigation as contemplated under Section 173(8) of the CrPC is on the basis of fresh materials collected after the police report is filed. Even incidence of further investigation be brought to the notice of the Magistrate beforehand.

It is apparent from the records that the eighteen charge-sheets have been filed in the case in hand. These are not results of further investigation but of a continuing investigation, as even accede by the prosecution. Hence, it cannot be inferred the police report was filed on completion of the investigation. In the factual matrix, this court does not find any infirmity in the impugned order passed by the Special Judge. All the eighteen purported police report shall be treated as the one police report with different parts for substantive justice and the date of filing the charge-sheet shall be the date when the charge-sheet No. 71/15 was filed. The Special Judge shall consider the police report in multiple parts and take his decision on cognizance of the alleged offence.

To try the distinct offence the separate trials may be conducted after framing the distinct charge on the basis of the police report. No separate FIR has been registered by the police for the distinct offences. This process shall commence only after framing the separate charges for the distinct offences. Even that may be waived only in exercise of power under proviso to Section 218 of the CrPC. Petition dismissed.


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