Madurai, Feb 19: The Madras High Court bench here today made it clear that a Judicial Magistrate could not order reinvestigation in a murder case after the probe officer submitted a report that the case is "undetectable" and only appropriate forum (higher court)could pass such an order.
Justice A Selvam and Justice T Mathivanan gave the clarification after a single judge referred the petition filed by former DMK minister K K S S R Ramachandran seeking to quash the murder case proceedings against him pending at a Judicial Magistrate II Court to the division bench to clarify legal position on whether a Judicial Magistrate had powers to permit reinvestigation in a murder case.
Irukankudi Police registered a case on a complaint from the Village Administrative Officer(in-charge) that the body of a post master was found at Pappakudi village in 2010 (during DMK rule). It was registered as a suspicious death case. On January 31, 2010, police filed a report stating the "crime mentioned in the complaint is not detected".
The Judicial Magistrate also recorded it and closed the case. Meanwhile, a Police Inspector had on March 30, 2012 when AIADMK was in power, sought permission from the same Judicial Magistrate to reinvestigate the case, for wich the Magistrate gave permission.
After the reinvestigation, the final report was submitted. The single judge then referred the issue to the division bench seeking clarifications under Criminal Procedure Code as to whether a Judicial Magistrate could permit reinvestigation and take the final report on file for proceedings.
The Judges said under the CrPC, plea for reinvestigation should have been made before the appropriate forum and not before the Judicial Magistrate. The Magistrate had no power to order reinvestigation.
The petitioner's contention was that the order issued by the Judicial Magistrate for reinvestigation was not correct and he challenged the acceptance of the second report by the Judicial Magistrate. The judges directed the registry to post the Criminal Original Petition again before the single judge for appropriate order.