Dismissal of Complaint under CrPC
According to Section 203 of CrPC, “The Magistrate can also dismiss the complaint if inquiry or investigation under Section 202 result no ground for proceedings”, i.e, after considering the statements of the complainant and its witnesses under Section 200 and the result of investigation under Section 202, the Judicial Magistrate is of the opinion that there is no sufficient ground to proceed in the matter, he shall dismiss the complaint with brief recorded reasons. A second complaint on the same facts could be entertained only in exceptional cases.
Issue of Process
As per Section 204 CrPC, if the Judicial Magistrate taking Cognizance of an offence considers that there is sufficient ground to proceed in the matter, he shall issue process against the accused person in the following manner:
If it’s a summons case, he shall issue a summons for the attendance of the accused
If it’s a warrant case, he may issue a warrant or if he thinks fit, may issue a summon for causing the accused to appear at a certain date and time.
This whole procedure of issuing summons or warrants under Section 204 CrPC is to make the accused person aware of the prosecution witnesses and to prepare his defence.
Once the Judicial Magistrate has issued summons or warrants in a case, he cannot recall his order of issue process. Therefore, the only recourse available to the aggrieved person to challenge the issuance of process under Section 204 CrPC is by invoking Section 482 CrPC.
Dismissal of complaint
Section 203 of CrPC authorises a Magistrate to take cognizance on a complaint by the complainant to build an opinion regarding the sufficiency of grounds to continue with the proceeding of the case. This opinion must be based on the statements made by the complainant and his witnesses and further depends on the result of the investigation or of an inquiry as per Section 202. The Magistrate is required to apply his mind on the material facts available regarding the case and then form an opinion whether those grounds are sufficient or not to continue further with the proceeding of the case.
The case is entirely triable by the Court of Session at the stage of Section 203 and Section 204 of CrPC. All that the Magistrate is required to do is to study or examine the complaint properly and to check that the evidence recorded during the introductory inquiry under the Section 200 and Section 202 are direct evidence in support of the charges put on the accused person. At the later stage that is as per Section 203, the Magistrate is not required to measure the available evidence precisely and leave it for the trial court to perform. The quality to be maintained in examining the evidence should not be the same as maintained during the stage of framing charges. The standards of proof and opinion should not be applied exactly during the stage of framing charges like applied finally before establishing the accused person guilty of the offence. So if, the stage of Section 202 or 204 provides with the direct evidence to support the allegation put on the accused in the complaint related to the case exclusively triable by the Court of Session, that will be sufficient ground for issuing the process to the accused and further committing him for the trial to the Court of Session.
As per the Section 203, the magistrate in exercising his discretion should not allow himself to get manipulated by consideration of the motive by which the complainant may have acted in the matter and not by any other consideration outside the facts which are presented by the complainant in support of his complaint against the accused. Mere lapse of time between the attempt of offence and date of the complaint made by the complainant is no ground for throwing out the complaint, though that may be relevant considering at the trial for evaluating evidence when presented.
The order of dismissal of the complaint by the Magistrate is subject to the examination by higher courts and can be reviewed later. Therefore, the recording of the reasons behind the dismissal of the complaint would be useful for such an examination of the complaint. At this stage, it should be possible for the accused to satisfy the Magistrate that there was no case existing at all against him and that he can recall the order issuing process as per the Section 204 and further dismiss the complaint under Section 203. In the Chiman Lal v Datar Singh and Ors (1997) case, it was held that the dismissal of a complaint is inappropriate where the Magistrate is unable to examine the material facts and witnesses as stated under 202 of CrPC.