Karnataka High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of K.N. Phaneendra, J., decided a criminal petition filed under Section 482 of CrPC, wherein it quashed the order passed by the learned Magistrate under Section 156(3) of CrPC directing investigation in a criminal case.

The respondent-applicant had filed a private complaint in a criminal case. Subsequently, he filed an application under Section 156(3) of CrPC, requesting the Magistrate to direct investigation on the said complaint. The learned Magistrate, by the impugned order directed the jurisdictional police for investigation and report. The petitioner challenged the said impugned order in the instant petition.

The High Court perused the record and referred to the Supreme Court decision in Priyanka Srivastatva v. State of U.P., (2015) 6 SCC 287 to discuss the law on the subject. In the said decision, the Supreme Court categorically observed that applications under Section 156(3) of CrPC are to be supported by an affidavit duly sworn in by the applicant. The Magistrate was advised to verify the truth and veracity of the allegations. The Supreme Court observed that this was necessary to prevent abuse of procedure of law. The High Court, relying on the above dictum of the Supreme Court, held that the applicant has to file an affidavit regarding the efforts made by him under Section 154(1) and 154(3) of CrPC; and it should also contain the truthfulness and contents of the complaint. In the absence of such affidavit being filed, the Magistrate does not get jurisdiction to refer a private complaint for investigation under Section 156(3) of CrPC. Accordingly, the High Court quashed the impugned order on technical grounds. [Kishor Piraji Kharat v. Rajeshwar Reddy Karnati Venkata, Crl. Petition No. 5016 of 2017, order dated 9.01.2018]

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