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  • Writer's pictureChambers of Daksha Kumar

Who has the power to change the investigation agency in a criminal case?

In every criminal case, only the higher courts have the authority to replace the investigation agency. A court magistrate has no authority to order the investigation agency to be changed.

In a hearing, the Supreme Court challenged the Madras High Court's decision of further investigation under section 173 (8) and had it quashed since there were no exceptional circumstances warranting a re-probe.

But the question of whether the chief judicial magistrate can order the reinvestigation or it could assign the case to another investigation agency under section 173 Cr.P.C. comes in front of the apex court.

According to the Supreme Court, if the magistrate is dissatisfied with the police report, he or she may take cognizance under section 190 Cr.P.C. and summon the accused under section 204 Cr.P.C. The magistrate also has the authority to disregard the findings of the investigating agency and form his own opinion based on the facts discovered during the inquiry.

They have the authority to direct additional inquiries based on the findings, but they do not have the authority to send the case to another investigation agency to reinvestigate. As a result, the inquiry will be continued by the same investigating agency under the supervision of the concerned superintendent of police.

When the re-investigation is finished, the agency must submit the report to the chief judicial magistrate, who must handle it according to the law. Thus, under section 406, only the Supreme Court has the authority to replace the investigation agency in a criminal case.

Another example is the case of Rhea Chakraborty v. State of Bihar & Ors., in which a petition was made in the Supreme Court for the transfer of inquiry under section 406 of the Indian Penal Code. The victim's family filed a police report in Patna, Bihar.

The transfer petition was filed on the grounds that the deceased/victim was a resident of the Mumbai police station's jurisdiction, and hence the inquiry should be conducted in Mumbai.

The Supreme Court, on the other hand, dismissed the petition, stating that an investigation is only transferred when the court finds that it is not fair or biased.

Later, with the assent of the Bihar government, the matter was then handed to the CBI. So that a fair trial can take place without interference from both the state government.

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