If no action is taken by police on information given to them, the informant’s remedy lies under Sections 190, 200, Cr. P.C., not a Writ Petition

In Gangadhar Janardan Mhatre vs. State of Maharashtra and Ors. (2004) 7 SCC 768.held :

“When the information is laid with the police, but no action in that behalf is taken, the complainant is given power under Section 190 read with Section 200 of the Code to lay the complaint before the Magistrate having jurisdiction to take cognizance of the offence and the Magistrate is required to enquire into the complaint as provided in Chapter XV of the Code. In case the Magistrate after recording evidence finds a prima facie case, instead of issuing process to the accused, he is empowered to direct the police concerned to investigate into offence under Chapter XII of the Code and to submit a report. If he finds that the complaint does not disclose any offence to take further action, he is empowered to dismiss the complaint under Section 203 of the Code. In case he finds that the complaint/evidence recorded prima facie discloses an offence, he is empowered to take cognizance of the offence and would issue process to the accused. These aspects have been highlighted by this Court in All India Institute of Medical Sciences Employees Union (Regd.) v. Union of India (1996) 11 SCC 582.. It was specifically observed that a writ petition in such cases is not to be entertained.”

Supreme Court in M.C. Mehta vs. Union of India [(2007) 1 SCC 110] upon analysis of the relevant provisions of the Code held that after completion of the investigation if it appears to the Investigating Officer that there is no sufficient evidence, he may decide to release the suspected accused. If, it appears to him that there is sufficient evidence or reasonable ground to place the accused on trial, he has to take necessary steps under Section 170 of the Code. ‘In either case, on completion of the investigation he has to submit a report to the Magistrate under Section 173 of the Code in the prescribed form who is required to consider the report judicially for taking appropriate action thereof.

In Secretary, Minor Irrigation and Rural Engineering Services, U.P. and Ors. v. Sahngoo Ram Arya and Anr. (2002) 5 SCC 521., Supreme  Court took the view that a decision to direct an enquiry  U/A 226, against a person can only be done if the High Court after considering the material on record comes to a conclusion that such material does disclose a prima facie case calling for an investigation by an Investigating Agency, and the same cannot be done as a matter of routine or merely because a party makes some such allegations. This Court relying upon its earlier decision in Common Cause, A Registered Society vs. Union of India and Ors. (1999) 6 SCC 667.held that a direction for investigation can be given only if an offence is, prima facie, found to have been committed or a persons involvement is prima facie established, but a direction to investigate whether any person has committed an offence or not cannot be legally given.

It is evident from Sections 154, 156 and 157 of the Code that even a police officer can act on the basis of information received or otherwise and proceed to investigate provided he has reason to suspect the commission of a cognizable offence which he is empowered to investigate under Section 156 Cr.P.C. If the essential requirements of the penal provisions are not prirna facie disclosed by a First Information Report and the police officer has no reason to suspect the commission of a cognizable offence, no investigation can be undertaken by him based on the information received or otherwise. Can the High Court set the law in motion against the named and unnamed individuals based on the information received by it without recording the reasons that the information received by it prima facie disclosed the commission of a cognizable offence. Setting Criminal Law in motion is fraught with serious consequences, which cannot lightly be undertaken by the High Court even in exercise of its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. In our view, the High Court in exercise of its whatsoever jurisdiction cannot direct investigation by constituting a Special Investigation Team on the strength of anonymous petitions. The High Courts cannot be converted into Station Houses. If somebody is aggrieved by the impugned order of High Court then he is entitled to invoke the jurisdiction of Supreme  Court under Article 136 of the Constitution of India.

In our view, the whole of public law remedies available under Article 226 of the Constitution of India and the constituent power to issue writs in the nature of mandamus, certiorari, prohibition and co-warranto are neither echoed nor transplanted into Section 482. May be both the powers to issue writs and pass appropriate orders under Section 482 of the Code are conferred upon the High Court but they undoubtedly operate in different fields.