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A police officer has the power to investigate a non-cognizable offence also, only after obtaining the prior permission of the concerned magistrate: High Court of Uttarakhand.

Under Section 155 Cr.P.C. which provides for information as to non-cognizable cases, the police officer has no suo moto power to investigate the matter, but as soon as the 2 information is recorded by him, he will refer the informant to the Magistrate. However, the concerned magistrate can empower the police officer to investigate a non-cognizable offence. A single Judge bench comprising Hon’ble Justice R.C. Khulbe, in the matter of Nandan Kumar Mittal Versus State of Uttarakhand and others (Criminal Writ Petition No.1264 of 2021), dealt with a matter where the petitioner filed a criminal writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for quashing the FIR No.0261 of 2020, u/s 434 and 427 IPC, registered at P.S. Doiwala, District Dehradun.

In the present case, from the FIR, it was clear that it was lodged under Sections 427 and 434 IPC; as per the First Schedule appended to the Cr.P.C., both these offences are non-cognizable; as per Chapter XII of Cr.P.C. Under Section 154 Cr.P.C. dealing with offence in cognizable cases is concerned, the concerned officer of the Police Station is bound to investigate the matter, whereas, as per Section 155 Cr.P.C. which provides for information as to non-cognizable cases, the police officer has no suo moto power to investigate the matter, but as soon as the information is recorded by him, he will refer the informant to the Magistrate and the magistrate if deems fit can empower the police officer to investigate such non-cognizable offence.

The court observed – “since the offences u/s 427 and 434 IPC fall within the category of non-cognizable offences, the concerned officer of the police station had no power to lodge the information as per Section 154 Cr.P.C. nor did he have any power to investigate the matter without obtaining the prior permission of the concerned Magistrate.” Thereby the criminal petition was allowed.

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