Kar HC | SHO of police station has no authority of law unless the Jurisdictional Magistrate permits police officer to investigate the non-cognizable offence

Karnataka High Court: P.G.M. Patil, J. issued guidelines to be followed by Judicial Magistrates, for the passing of orders when the requisition is submitted by the SHO of police station seeking permission to investigate, non-cognizable offence.

In this case the H.N. Shirahatti, PSI Kagwad Police station received information that within the limits of Mole Village some people were playing gambling for there personal benefit which is contrary to law and illegal. He filed a complaint and therefore proceeded to the spot after informing the Dy. SP and CPI, under there instruction and guidance. On reaching the spot he found that certain person were saying Yakka means Rs 100. and they conducted a raid and caught hold 13 persons and recovered cash of Rs 10,250 On the basis of the complaint, the SHO registered a crime for offence under Section 87 of Karnataka Police Act Act. Subsequently, after investigation, a charge sheet was filed against the petitioner and other accused of the offence punishable under Section 87 of the Act. 

The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the complaint is misconceived, and the alleged offence is non-cognizable as per the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC). Therefore, the police have no authority to investigate the crime. It was further submitted that the police have not complied with the mandatory requirement of Sections 155(1) and 155(2) of CrPC. On the contrary, the respondent’s (Government) counsel said that the jurisdictional Magistrate has permitted the concerned police to take up the investigation and therefore, there is compliance of Section 155(2) of CrPC.

It was opined by the Court that the police officer has no authority of law unless the jurisdictional magistrate permits the police officer for investigation of the non-cognizable offence. The Court relied upon Mukkatira Anitha Machaiah v. State of Karnataka, 2013 SCC OnLine Kar 6703 where it was held that under Section 155 of CrPC when the officer in charge gets the information for the commission of non-cognizable offence then he shall enter or cause to enter the information in prescribed book and refer the informant to magistrate; and under Section 155(2) no police officer shall investigate a non-cognizable case without an order of a Magistrate having the power to try such case or commit the case for trial.

The Court thus issued guidelines to be followed by Judicial Magistrates, as to how they have to approach and pass orders when requisition is submitted by the SHO of police station seeking permission to investigate, non-cognizable offence. Some of them were that the word ‘permitted’ is not an order in the eyes of law and when the requisition is submitted by the informant to the Jurisdictional Magistrate, he should make an endorsement on it as to how it was received, either by post or by Muddam. When the Magistrate passes the orders permitting the investigation, he/she shall specify the rank and designation of the Police Officer who has to investigate the case.[Vaggeppa Gurulinga Jangaligi v. State of Karnataka, 2019 SCC OnLine Kar 2708, decided on 10-12-2019]

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