Ambiguity of Section 156(3) of Cr.P.C

Publication Information

Journal Title: Journal of Legal Studies & Research
Author(s): Meghal Panchori
Published On: 12/06/2023
Volume: 9
Issue: 3
First Page: 200
Last Page: 210
ISSN: 2455-2437
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

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Meghal Panchori, Ambiguity of Section 156(3) of Cr.P.C, Volume 9 Issue 3, Journal of Legal Studies & Research, 200-210, Published on 12/06/2023, Available at


In India, for every offence under Indian Penal Code, the justice process is followed in three steps: the investigation, the inquiry and the trial as per the steps mentioned in the Cr.P.C. Investigation is the first step and an attempt to collect information regarding the offence committed and the collection of evidence. The investigation can be done by the Police itself or by the order of the magistrate. If the police don’t register the FIR upon receiving the information, such a victim can go to the Magistrate. The magistrate authorised to take cognizance under Section 190 of the Criminal Procedure Code is given the authority to order an investigation into any cognizable matter under Section 156(3) of that same code, which applies at the pre-cognizable stage. The Supreme Court ruled in Panchabhai Popatbhai Bhutani & Others[i] that a petition under Section 156(3) could not be strictly interpreted as a complaint under Section 2(d) of the Code and that the absence of a specific or improperly worded prayer or the lack of complete and definite details would not be fatal to a petition under Section 156(3) as long as it states facts that are ingredients of a cognizable offence. A petition of this nature could be lodged before the magistrate.

[i] Panchabhai Popatbhai Bhutani & Others Vs. State of Maharashtra (2010) All MR (Cri) P.244.

Keywords: Cr.P.C, Complaint, FIR, Magistrate, Police report, Investigation, Inquiry, Cognizable Offence, Cognizance, Criminal Case

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