A final report can be filed by police after initial report under Section 173(8) CrPC

Madras High Court: In a case before the Court, Police had registered an FIR against the petitioner on the basis of a complaint filed by de facto complainant. However, after investigation, Police came to the conclusion that it was a mistake of fact in a referring report. The de facto complainant approached the Magistrate by filing a protest complaint against the refer report seeking a direction to reject the final report filed by the Police or to direct it to investigate further and file additional charge-sheet.

The Police contrary to the procedure a specified in CrPC, filed another final report implicating the accused and the same was accepted by the learned Judicial Magistrate, the petitioner argued. The petitioner contended that the Magistrate ought to have ordered for reopening the earlier complaint in the Protest Petition or for re-investigation.

The counsel for respondents contended that the Investigating Officer can conduct further investigation and file further report or reports with the materials obtained by him subsequently under Section 173(8) CrPC. The learned counsel for the petitioner relied on a judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Reeta Nag v. State of West Bengal, (2009) 9 SCC 129 in support of his contentions where the Supreme Court held that once a charge-sheet is filed under Section 173(2) CrPC and either charge is framed or the accused are discharged, the Magistrate may, on the basis of a protest petition, take cognizance of the offence complained of or on the application made by the investigating authorities permit further investigation under Section 173(8). To this, the Court observed that in the cited judgment, it was held that the Magistrate cannot suo motu or upon an application filed by the de facto complainant, direct a further investigation under Section 173(8) CrPC. But, in this case on hand, the Investigating Officer, after filing first final report, referring the case as mistake of fact, then, proceeded with further investigation and filed second final report with the materials obtained by him during his further investigation.

The Court observed that 173(8) CrPC empowers the Investigating Officer to forward to the Magistrate a further report or reports regarding further evidence oral or documentary, he obtains and thus, held that there was no prohibition for the Investigating Officer to file further report. The Bench accordingly dismissed the petition. [M. John Kennedy @ M.J.Kennedy v. The Inspector of Police, Thisaiyanvilai Police Station, 2017 SCC OnLine Mad 418, decided on 16.02.2017]

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