The investigation or inquiry under section 202 need not to be thorough and exhaustive. The court may postpone the issue of processes and order inquiry or investigation. The inquiry shall be conducted by the magistrate himself. The investigation can be ordered to the police officer or any other person. If it is ordered to private individual then as per subsection 3, such person shall have all the powers of police officer in charge except the power of arrest without warrant because at this stage, accused cannot be brought into picture.
Therefore at this stage, accused cannot be arrested, also the magistrate cannot issue an arrest warrant.
In Rakesh Sobthi v. State of West Bengal, 2017, it was observed that a police officer conducting investigation under section 202 is a delegation of magistrate and he is not entitled to issue a notice under section 41 A CrPC upon the accused and to interrogate him in the course of investigation under section 202 CrPC.
The court set aside a notice issued to the accused under section 41A. Since the magistrate in the course of enquiry under section 202 is not entitled to issue notice upon the accused and to participate in the proceedings. It further clarified that police officer may exercise other powers like search, seizure, proceedings to the spot etc. for the purpose of determining the truth of allegation made in the complaint. At this stage of section 202, the accused is precluded from participating and his defence. The object of investigation under section 202 is not to initiate a fresh case on the police report but to assist the magistrate in completing proceedings already instituted upon a complaint before him.
By 2005 amendment, it has been added that in cases where accused resides beyond the territorial jurisdiction of magistrate then he shall postpone the issue of processes and ordered inquiry of investigation. The same was reaffirmed by the Supreme Court in the case of Abijith Pawar v. Hemanth Madhukar Nimarker 2016.
SECTION 203 OF CRPC
The order of dismissal of complaint under section 203 is neither an order of discharge nor an order of acquittal. Therefore bar of section 300 will not apply and a second complaint after the dismissal of 1st is maintainable. The magistrate can dismiss a complaint in the following cases-
Is upon the examination of section 200, he found no sufficient grounds to proceed.
After section 202, he found no sufficient grounds to proceed.
If process fee has not been paid under section 200 (4).
When the case is purely of civil nature.
If complainant is available at the time of examination of section 200.
Where there is unexplained delay or absence of complainant in a summons case.
If complaint is based upon such material which is a privileged document under section 121-131 of Indian Evidence Act.
The Magistrate has to record reasons in case of dismissal of complaint. In case of dismissal, aggrieved party can go for revision before the High Court or Court of Session under section 397. The complaint has been dismissed on the grounds of false allegation, the accused can prosecute the complainant for making false charges under section 211 of Indian Penal Code.
The magistrate dismisses the complaint on medals then he shall not be allowed to change his earlier order as review is not for permissible in CrPC.