A Magistrate, who receives a report under Section 157 (2), has the power to direct an investigation, or if he thinks necessary, to hold a preliminary inquiry into the case or otherwise dispose it off in a manner prescribed. But he cannot dispose of the case under Section 159 and discharge the accused person.
Section 159 confers power on Magistrate to conduct an inquiry and not any local inspection. Further, when the case is exclusively triable by Court of Session, it is the duty of Magistrate to verify whether Investigation Officer has complied with legal requirement and then commit the case to the Court of Session. The Magistrate cannot add a party at this stage.
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The High Court of Punjab and Haryana in Court on its own motion v. State of Haryana expressed concern for delay in completion of investigation in a double murder case and directed the CBI to submit monthly progress report of the investigation to the Court and asked the State Government to take firm steps to remove hurdles created by the followers of Dera in investigation of the case.
The case involved investigation of dual murder and sexual abuse of girls at “Dera Sachha Sauda” Sirsa by CBI. Shortage of manpower in CBI and hostility and non-co-operation of followers of Dera were causing delay and investigation was moving slowly. The High Court, therefore, directed the concerned authorities, i.e., the State Government and CBI to ensure that the process of law and investigation was not stalled by the acts of the followers of Dera Sachha.