Procedures to be followed in cases where protest petition is to be treated as a separate complaint: SC

Case title:-Mukhtar Zaidi V. The State of Uttar Pradesh

Case no:- criminal appeal no. of 2024 (arising out of SLP (CRL.) NO.9122 OF 2021)

Dated on:- 18th April 2024

Quorum:- Justice Vikram Nath

Facts of the case

Respondent no.2 lodged a First Information Report before the CJM, Aligarh in case No. 129/2020 under sections 147, 342,323,307, 506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The same was investigated and after investigation the police submitted report under section 173(2) Cr.p.c, according to which the investigating officer found that no evidence could be collected which could substantiate the allegations made in the FIR. The said report was submitted to the Court concerned whereupon notices were issued to the informant. The informant filed a Protest Petition along with affidavits to show that the investigation carried out by the Investigating Officer was not a fair investigation. The CJM, by order dated 08.03.2021 rejected the police report under Section 173(2) Cr.P.C. and further proceeded to take cognizance for offences under Sections 147, 342, 323, 307, 506 of the IPC and under Section 190 (1) (b) of the Cr.P.C. and also directed that the matter would continue as a State case. Accordingly, it summoned the accused, fixed 30th April, 2021. This order of cognizance and summoning the present appellant was assailed before the High Court by way of a petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. registered as Application u/s.482 No.15273 of 2021. The said application has sine been dismissed by the High Court giving rise to the present appeal.

Contentions of the appellant:-

CJM had relied upon not only the Protest Petition but also on the affidavits of witnesses which were filed along with the Protest Petition to support the contents of the complaint. Once the CJM was relying upon additional material in the form of evidence, along with the Protest Petition then the only option for the CJM was to treat it as a complaint under Section 200 Cr.P.C. and proceed accordingly. The said case could not have been continued as a State case and should have been treated as a private complaint. Once additional evidence was being relied upon which had been filed along with the Protest Petition then the only option open was to treat it as a private complaint and after following the due procedure in Chapter XV of the Cr.P.C.

Contentions of the respondant:-

CJM did not take into consideration any additional evidence filed in the form of affidavits along with the Protest Petition. He only relied upon the material collected during the investigation as contained in the case diary. Based upon the same, CJM rejected the police report and took cognizance which was within his domain and such cognizance would fall within Section 190(1)(b) Cr.P.C.

Legal Provisions:-

Section 190(1)(a) Cr.P.C- issue of summons

Section 200 Cr.P.C- Examination of the complainant

Section 482 Cr.P.C- inherent power of High Court

Section 173(2) Cr.P.C- police report


How the Magistrate would proceed under Section 190 Cr.P.C., once the Investigating Officer had submitted a closure report under Section 173(2) Cr.P.C?

Courts judgement and analysis:-

Where initially the complainant has not filed any complaint before the Magistrate under Section 200 CrPC, but, has approached the police only and where the police after investigation have filed the ‘B’ report, if the complainant wants to protest, he is thereby inviting the Magistrate to take cognizance under Section 190(1)(a) CrPC on a complaint. 

 If it were to be so, the Protest Petition that he files shall have to satisfy the requirements of a complaint as defined in Section 2(d) CrPC, and that should contain facts that constitute offence, for which, the learned Magistrate is taking cognizance under Section 190(1)(a) CrPC.

 If it is to be simply styled as a Protest Petition, without containing all those necessary particulars that a normal complaint has to contain, then, it cannot be construed as a complaint for the purpose of proceeding under Section 200 CrPC.

However, in the present case as the Magistrate had already recorded his satisfaction that it was a case worth taking cognizance and fit for summoning the accused, the Magistrate ought to have followed the provisions and the procedure prescribed under Chapter XV of the Cr.P.C. 


Accordingly, the appeal was allowed to set aside the orders passed by the High Court as also the CJM, Aligarh. However, it is open for the Magistrate to treat the Protest Petition as a complaint and proceed in accordance to law as laid down under Chapter XV of the Cr.P.C

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Judgement reviewed by- Parvathy P.V.