Magistrate Should Forward Complaint To Police For Investigation U/s. 156(3) CrPC If Evidence Is In Possession Of Accused: Kerala HC
While relying on the decision of the Apex Court in XYZ v. State of Madhya Pradesh and others [2022 (5) KHC 403] which held that in cases wherein documentary or other evidence is alleged to be in the physical possession of the accused or other individuals which the police would be best placed to investigate and retrieve using its powers under the CrPC, then the matter ought to be sent to the police for investigation, the Kerala High Court directed the Magistrate to forward the complaint to the police for investigation under Section 156(3) of CrPC.
The Bench of Justice Kauser Edappagath observed that "in appropriate cases where the data/material could better be collected by the police missionaries, certainly the Magistrate should exercise his discretion in forwarding the complaint to the police rather than opting himself to proceed under Section 202 CrPC".
Advocate Majida S. appeared for the Petitioner and Advocate V. Sreeja appeared for the Respondent.
In a nutshell, the Petitioner filed a private complaint against the Respondents alleging that they were conducting religious classes and promoting youngsters belonging to high profile family to convert to Christianity under the aid of their Trust. The Petitioner also alleged that the Respondents induced the Petitioner's brother-in-law to part with Rs.90 thousand giving a false promise that they will cure the disease of his daughter and cheated him. It was further alleged that Respondents demanded a further sum of Rs.8 lacs from the petitioner's brother-in-law which he refused to give and thereafter, they tutored his son against his parents and used him for their illegal activities. Even though the Petitioner requested to forward the complaint for investigation under Section 156(3) of CrPC, the said request was denied and the Trial Court proceeded with the enquiry under Section 202 CrPC.
From the perusal of the private complaint filed by the Petitioner, the Bench found that serious allegations had been leveled against the Respondents which require a detailed investigation.
Therefore, finding that the present one is a fit case where the Magistrate ought to have forwarded the complaint to the police for investigation, the Bench directed the Magistrate to forward the complaint to the police for investigation under Section 156(3) of CrPC.
Cause Title: N. Sundareshan v. State of Kerala and Anr.