Section 210 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr.P.C.) – Explained!

This section makes it clear that if the offence inquired into or tried by the Magistrate in the complaint case is also under police investigation, the proceedings of the complaint case will be stayed under Section 210 (1) only for the purpose of calling for a report in the matter from the police officer conducting the investigation.

If the said report is not submitted by the investigating police officer within a reasonable time, the Magistrate is not expected to keep the complaint case stayed for an indefinite period waiting for the investigating agency to file its report. In such cases, the Magistrate can proceed with the complaint case in accordance with law.

Commenting further on this point, the Delhi High Court in State v. Har Narayan, has observed that where the offence (i.e. the act or omission) constitute as facts under police investigation and also in the complaint case, then the provisions of Section 210 will be attracted and it would be possible to amalgamate the case instituted on a complaint and a case instituted on a police report and the Magistrate may proceed With the case as if it were a complaint case.

Where cognizance of an offence was taken on a police report but subsequently on the basis of a private complaint the Court added names of accused persons, which were not mentioned in the police report, it was held that the procedure was not violative of any provision of law. A trial in a complaint case could not be said to be in contravention of Section 210 merely because a report was made at a police outpost.

In the case of Pritam Singh v. State of Jharkhand, a complaint case was filed when police case was already registered. Therefore directions were issued that complaint case be tagged with police case under Section 210. It was held that the Magistrate had committed error in issuing of arrest warrant passed on first date of taking cognizance, and as such the order issued as non-bailable warrant against the petitiorter was quashed by the High Court.

Where the accused persons were different and offence was different in relation to which cognizance was taken by Court on police report, the Magistrate was justified in taking cognizance against such persons and in relation to that particular offence for which no cognizance had been taken. If cognizance is taken for an offence punishable under Section 306 IPC, it was held that the Magistrate could take cognizance under Section 304 IPC, as the ingredients of the two offences were different.

In Anil Kumar Jha v. State of Bihar, the High Court of Patna held that maintenance proceedings do not relate to any offence as defined in Section 2 (n) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, therefore, the provisions of Section 210 would not apply to such proceeding.

Where there is police investigation and a complaint case in respect of the same offence, the complaint must be deemed to be a police report under Section 210(2) in regard to persons common to both cases and the accused person not involved in the police case can be proceeded against under sub-clause (3) of Section 210 of the Code.

In Ningombam Ranjit Singh v. Yumnam Premila Devi, the F.I.R. was lodged by the complainant wife against the accused (her husband) for re-marrying during subsistence of first marriage. The complaint case was filed subsequently while investigation of the said F.I.R. case for the same subject matter was in progress. The Court held that the application filed by the accused under Section 210, Cr. P.C. was maintainable but such staying would only be for a reasonable period.