Private Complaint - Sections 409, 420, 406, 467, 468, 471 read with Section 120-B and 114 of the Indian Penal Code - asking the Hon'ble Magistrate to refer the case to Police under sec.156 (3) of Cr.P.C. - But the Magistrate thought it fit to conduct further inquiry under Section 202 and sought report of the Police Sub Inspector within thirty days - High court declined to interfere - Apex court held that power under Section 156(3) can be invoked by the Magistrate before taking cognizance and was in the nature of pre-emptory reminder or intimation to the police to exercise its plenary power of investigation beginning Section 156 and ending with report or chargesheet under Section 173. On the other hand, Section 202 applies at post cognizance stage and the direction for investigation was for the purpose of deciding whether there was sufficient ground to proceed. this Court explained the scope of investigation by the police and held that investigation included power to arrest. There is no dispute with this legal position. In the light of above discussion, we are unable to find any error in the view taken by the Magistrate and the High Court that direction under Section 156(3) was not warranted in the present case and the police may not be justified in exercising power of arrest in the course of submitting report under Section 202. - 2015 S.C. MSKLAWREPORTS



The case of the appellant-complainant in  complaint  filed
           by it before the Magistrate is that it is  running  business  of
           food products and had permitted M/s. New Ramdev Masala  Factory,
           wherein accused No.1 Mr. Jasvantbhai Somabhai Patel was  one  of
           the partners, to use the  trademark  "Ramdev"  for  seven  years
           under agreement dated 4th June, 1990.  However, M/s. New  Ramdev
           Masala Factory was closed  on  30th  May,  1994.   Accused  No.1
           executed forged partnership documents with  the  help  of  other
           accused and thereby committed the alleged offences.
          The appellant sought  direction  for  investigation  under
           Section 156(3) of the Code.  However, the Magistrate instead  of
           directing investigation as prayed, thought  it  fit  to  conduct
           further inquiry under Section  202  and  sought  report  of  the
           Police Sub Inspector  within  thirty  days.   Grievance  of  the
           appellant before  the  High  Court  was  that  in  view  of  the
           allegation that documents had been forged with a view  to  usurp
           the trademark, which documents were in possession of the accused
           and were required to be seized, investigation ought to have been
           ordered under  Section  156(3)  instead  of  conducting  further
           inquiry under Section 202.  Thus, there was non  application  of
           mind  by  the  Magistrate.   It  is  also   submitted   in   the
           alternative, that even in the course of investigation for giving
           report under Section 202,  police  is  entitled  to  arrest  the
           accused as arrest is part  of  'investigation'  but  the  police
           failed to effect the arrest.

The High Court declined to interfere with the Order  dated
           16th August, 2005, of  the  Judicial  Magistrate,  First  Class,
           Sanand on a complaint filed by the  appellant  against  fourteen
           accused for alleged commission of offences under  Sections  409,
           420, 406, 467, 468, 471 read with Section 120-B and 114  of  the
           Indian Penal Code directing the Police Sub-Inspector, Sanand, to
           give a report to the Court  within  thirty  days  under  Section
           202(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (for  short  "the
           Code") instead of directing investigation under  Section  156(3)
           of the Code, as sought by the appellant.

 "The courts have also pointed out in these  cases
                           that what the Magistrate has to  see  is  whether
                           there is evidence in support of  the  allegations
                           of the complainant and not whether  the  evidence
                           is  sufficient  to  warrant  a  conviction.   The
                           learned Judges in some of these cases  have  been
                           at pains to observe that an enquiry under Section
                           202 is not to be likened to  a  trial  which  can
                           only take place after process is issued, and that
                           there can be only one trial. No doubt, as  stated
                           in sub-section (1) of  Section  202  itself,  the
                           object of the enquiry is to ascertain  the  truth
                           or falsehood of the complaint, but the Magistrate
                           making the enquiry  has  to  do  this  only  with
                           reference  to  the  intrinsic  quality   of   the
                           statements made before him at the  enquiry  which
                           would naturally mean the  complaint  itself,  the
                           statement on oath made by the complainant and the
                           statements made before him by persons examined at
                           the instance of the complainant."


               


                           "Section 202 says that the Magistrate may, if  he
                           thinks  fit,  for  reasons  to  be  recorded   in
                           writing,  postpone  the  issue  of  process   for
                           compelling   the   attendance   of   the   person
                           complained against and direct an inquiry for  the
                           purpose of ascertaining the truth or falsehood of
                           the complaint; in other words, the  scope  of  an
                           inquiry under the section is limited  to  finding
                           out the truth or falsehood of  the  complaint  in
                           order to determine the question of the  issue  of
                           process.  The  inquiry  is  for  the  purpose  of
                           ascertaining  the  truth  or  falsehood  of   the
                           complaint;  that  is,  for  ascertaining  whether
                           there is evidence in support of the complaint  so
                           as  to  justify  the   issue   of   process   and
                           commencement of proceedings  against  the  person
                           concerned.  The  section  does  not  say  that  a
                           regular  trial  for  adjudging   the   guilt   or
                           otherwise of the person complained against should
                           take  place  at  that  stage;  for   the   person
                           complained against can be legally called upon  to
                           answer the accusation made against him only  when
                           a process has issued and he is put on trial."


             It  was  observed
           that power under Section 156(3) can be invoked by the Magistrate
           before taking cognizance and was in the  nature  of  pre-emptory
           reminder or intimation to the police  to  exercise  its  plenary
           power of investigation  beginning Section 156  and  ending  with
           report or chargesheet under Section 173.   On  the  other  hand,
           Section 202 applies at post cognizance stage and  the  direction
           for investigation was for the purpose of deciding whether  there
           was sufficient ground to proceed.

         These aspects have already been discussed  above  and  are
           indeed undisputed.
        this Court explained the scope  of  investigation  by
           the police and held that investigation included power to arrest.
            There is no dispute with this legal position.
       In the light of above discussion, we are  unable  to  find
           any error in the view taken by the Magistrate and the High Court
           that direction under Section 156(3) was  not  warranted  in  the
           present case and the police may not be justified  in  exercising
           power of arrest in the course of submitting report under Section
           202.
       The questions  framed  for  consideration  stand  answered
           accordingly.
        The appeal is dismissed.- 2015 S.C. MSKLAWREPORTS

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