Karnataka High Court: SHO Empowered to Seek Magistrate’s Permission Under Section 155(2) CrPC for Investigation of Non-Cognizable Offenses

Karnataka High Court

Vijesh Pillai v. State of Karnataka & ANR

WRIT PETITION No.11186 OF 2023


Decided On 16-06-2023

Facts of the case-

The petitioner, in this case, is the complainant and the 2nd respondent is the accused. On 11-03-2023, the petitioner filed a complaint against the 2nd respondent, alleging that the 2nd respondent has threatened and intimidated the petitioner. The complaint was submitted to the K.R.Puram Police Station.

The Station House Officer of the police station, recognizing that the offense falls under Section 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for criminal intimidation, sought permission from the X Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in Bengaluru to register the crime. Since Section 506 of the IPC is a non-cognizable offense, obtaining the permission of the Magistrate is necessary as per Section 155 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C).

Upon receiving the requisition from the police, the learned Magistrate reviewed the request and granted permission for the crime to be registered. Following the Magistrate’s approval, the police formally registered the crime based on the petitioner’s complaint.

However, the petitioner, dissatisfied with the decision to grant permission, has approached this Court through the subject petition. It should be noted that the petitioner’s petition does not challenge the merits of the case but rather alleges that the learned Magistrate failed to apply due diligence in granting permission for the registration of the crime.


The Court clarified that it is not necessary for only the complainant to approach the Magistrate court under Section 155(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C) seeking permission to investigate a non-cognizable offense. The Court acknowledged and considered the judgments passed by the High Courts of Allahabad, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala, which held that either the first informant or the police officer can approach the Magistrate seeking permission to register a First Information Report (FIR) for a non-cognizable offense.

After analyzing the various judgments, the Court concluded that “It is open to a Police Officer or any complainant to approach the Magistrate under sub-section (2) of Section 155 of the Cr.P.C., to investigate a non-cognizable offense. There is nothing in the section to indicate that the informant alone should seek permission from the Magistrate to commence investigation.”

Regarding the order issued by the Magistrate court, the bench stated, “I find it appropriate to quash the order granting such permission and the resulting registration of the crime. I direct the learned Magistrate to reconsider the requisition and issue a fresh order, taking into account the observations made during this judgement.”

In summary, the Court’s judgement clarified that both the complainant and the police officer can approach the Magistrate court seeking permission to investigate a non-cognizable offense under Section 155(2) of the Cr.P.C. The Court quashed the previous order granting permission and registration of the crime and directed the Magistrate to reconsider the requisition and issue a fresh order in accordance with the observations made in the judgement.



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