Magistrate not to examine merits of case while taking cognizance: SC

The Supreme Court of India recently reiterated that while taking cognizance of an offence based upon a police report, it is not necessary for the Magistrate to examine the merits and demerits of the case and whether the materials collected is adequate for supporting the conviction.

“….it is not necessary for the Magistrate to examine the merits and demerits of the case and whether the materials collected is adequate for supporting the conviction. The court is not required to evaluate the evidence and its merits”, the Court ordered.

The Court further said, “In case of taking cognizance of an offence based upon the police report, the Magistrate is not required to record reasons for issuing the process. In cases instituted on a police report, the Magistrate is only required to pass an order issuing summons to the accused. Such an order of issuing summons to the accused is based upon subject to satisfaction of the Magistrate considering the police report and other documents and satisfying himself that there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused.”

The Court also stated while hearing revision under Section 397 Cr.P.C., the High Court does not sit as an appellate court and will not re-appreciate the evidence unless the judgment of the lower court suffers from perversity.

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