The Supreme Court held that the right of complainant to file a petition under Section 200 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) is not taken away even if the Magistrate does not direct that the Protest Petition be treated as a complaint.

The Court held thus in a criminal appeal filed by the accused against the order of the Allahabad High Court by which it dismissed his application under Section 482 of CrPC in which a prayer was made to quash the summoning order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) in a case under Sections 147, 342, 323, 307, and 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The two-Judge Bench of Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Satish Chandra Sharma observed, “From a perusal of the above opinion of this Court, it is also reflected that the Magistrate also had the liberty to reject the Protest Petition along with all other material which may have been filed in support of the same. In that event the Complainant would be at liberty to file a fresh complaint. The right of the Complainant to file a petition under Section 200 Cr.P.C. is not taken away even if the Magistrate concerned does not direct that such a Protest Petition be treated as a complaint.”

Senior Advocate Vinod Prasad appeared for the appellant while AOR Shashank Shekhar Singh appeared for the respondents.

Facts of the Case -

An FIR was lodged and after investigation, the police report under Section 173(2) CrPC was submitted according to which the Investigating Officer (IO) 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 IO was not a fair investigation. He had completed the case diary sitting at the Police Station without actually recording the statements of the witnesses.

The CJM rejected the police report under Section 173(2) CrPC and further proceeded to take cognizance for the offences under Sections 147, 342, 323, 307, and 506 of the IPC and under Section 190 (1) (b) of the CrPC and also directed that the matter would continue as a State case. Accordingly, it summoned the accused and such order of cognizance and summoning the appellant was assailed before the High Court by way of a petition under Section 482 CrPC. The same was dismissed by the High Court and hence, the appellant was before the Apex Court.

The Supreme Court after hearing the contentions of the counsel noted, “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, we are of the view that the Magistrate ought to have followed the provisions and the procedure prescribed under Chapter XV of the Cr.P.C. Accordingly, we allow this appeal, set aside the impugned orders passed by the High Court as also the CJM, Aligarh.”

The Court left it open for the Magistrate to treat the Protest Petition as a complaint and proceed in accordance with law as laid down under Chapter XV of the CrPC.

Accordingly, the Apex Court allowed the appeal and set aside the impugned orders.

Cause Title- Mukhtar Zaidi v. The State of Uttar Pradesh & Anr. (Neutral Citation: 2024 INSC 316)


Appellant: Senior Advocate Vinod Prasad, AOR Ajay Kumar Srivastava, Advocates Jyoti Tiwary, and Rajesh Pandey.

Respondents: AOR Shashank Shekhar Singh, Advocate Shantanu Singh, AOR Shekhar Prit Jha, Advocates S.S. Haider, and Preeti Kumari.

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