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If a charge sheet is filed by Central Crime branch a Magistrate cannot take cognizance of it unless directed by the State Government: Karnataka High Court

Magistrate court cannot take cognizance of a charge sheet filed by an officer of the Central Crime Branch (CCB) unless the State government declares the CCB as a police station. The Karnataka High Court presided over J. B.A. Patil laid down this ratio in the case of Dr. M.G. Gopal & Ors. Vs. State by Central Police, [Criminal Revision Petition No. 34/2018].

KIMS is one of among several other educational institutions run by Rajya Vakkaligara Sangha. The Complainant alleged that one Gopal misused his power and secured admission for six medical students in the academic year 2014-15. He further stated that for the admission Gopal procured Rs. 30 lakhs. The Complainant stated that in order to secure an admission for his son in the first year MBBS course an amount of Rs. 17 lakhs was paid by him. Later instead of granting admission to the son of the complainant, the authorities admitted the niece of another accused. A case was registered against the Dean and two others for offences of breach of trust and cheating. The Magistrate Court directed to register a case against the Petitioners for offences under Section 406, 477, 420, 120 B and 114 read with Section 34 of the India Penal Code. Aggrieved by the Order the Dean and others filed a criminal revision before the High Court.

The Petitioner submitted that final report by CCB which had not been declared as a police station as contemplated under Section 2(s) of the Criminal Procedure Code. Further it was contended that as there is no report filed by the investigating officer in-charge of the police station, therefore, cognizance taken by the Magistrate is not sustainable in law.

The Court in this case relied on Section 173(2) of CrPC and stated that, “Section 173(2) of the Code contemplates submission of report of investigation. From plain reading of the said provision it is evident that it is the officer in-charge of a police station who is authorized to forward and submit the report in the prescribed form to the jurisdictional Magistrate to take cognizance. The words used in Section 173(2) are “shall forward” which themselves give the meaning that it is the officer in-charge of the police station to file the final report.”

The Court further stated that, “…it is the police officers superior in rank to an officer-in-charge of the police station who have been conferred with such power as that of the officer in-charge of the police station. But in the case on hand, CCB police are not the officers superior in rank to an officer in-charge of the police station in the local jurisdiction. In that light, the contention which has been taken up by the learned SPP-I is not acceptable.”

Lastly the Court concluded that Magistrate failed to keep in view the provision of Section 190(1) & 173(2) of CrPC regarding whether the CCB is having any authority to file the report or not. The Court was of the opinion that, “Though the learned Magistrate has observed that he has perused the statement of the witnesses and material on record, but as discussed above, while taking cognizance if he has not kept in view the provisions of Sections 190(1) and 173(2) of the Code whether the CCB is having any authority to file the report or not, that itself shows that he has not applied his mind properly to the proposition of law and factual matrix of the case on hand. I am of the considered opinion that the order passed by the trial Court is not in accordance with law.”

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