Bikash Ranjan Rout vs Govt of NCT Delhi - Supreme Court Important Judgment 2019
Bikash Ranjan Rout vs State through the Secretary (Home), Government of NCT of Delhi, New Delhi - Supreme Court Important Judgment 2019 -
On 16th April, 2019, in the case of Bikash Ranjan Rout v. State through the Secretary (Home), Government of NCT of Delhi, New Delhi [Criminal Appeal No. 687 of 2019], the question for consideration was whether after the Magistrate passes an order of discharge of the accused, is it permissible for the Magistrate to order further investigation and direct the investigating officer to submit the report.
The Supreme Court observed that “there is a distinction and/or difference between the pre-cognizance stage and post-cognizance stage and the powers to be exercised by the Magistrate for further investigation at the pre-cognizance stage and post-cognizance stage.” It was held that “the power to order further investigation which may be available to the Magistrate at the pre-cognizance stage may not be available to the Magistrate at the postcognizance stage, more particularly, when the accused is discharged by him.”
The Supreme Court held that “if the Magistrate was not satisfied with the investigation carried out by the investigating officer and the report submitted by the investigating officer under Section 173(2)(i) of the CrPC”, “it was always open/ permissible for the Magistrate to direct the investigating agency for further investigation and may postpone even the framing of the charge and/or taking any final decision on the report at that stage.” However, “the Magistrate cannot suo moto direct for further investigation under Section 173(8) of the CrPC or direct the re-investigation into a case at the post-cognizance stage, more particularly when, in exercise of powers under Section 227 of the CrPC, the Magistrate discharges the accused.”
It was held that “Section 173(8) of the CrPC confers power upon the officer-in-charge of the police station to further investigate and submit evidence, oral or documentary, after forwarding the report under sub-section (2) of Section 173 of the CrPC” and “therefore, it is always open for the investigating officer to apply for further investigation, even after forwarding the report under sub-section (2) of Section 173 and even after the discharge of the accused.” However, “the aforesaid shall be at the instance of the investigating officer/police officer-in-charge and the Magistrate has no jurisdiction to suo moto pass an order for further investigation/reinvestigation after he discharges the accused.”