Delhi HC: Mechanical or Cryptic Orders cannot be passed, taking Cognizance is a Judicial Function

Trial Court Courtroom Witness Law Insider

Paridhi Arya

Published on June 3, 2022 at 13:26 IST

Single Judge Bench of Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain observed that taking cognizance is a judicial function and judicial orders should not be passed in a mechanical and cryptic manner.

The Court opined that when a Magistrate takes cognizance in any offence, he need not consider defenses or merits on the basis of the investigation or pass an order stating reasons of such cognizance but the order should show application of mind.

When the Magistrate decides to initiate a proceeding it shows that he applied his mind and cognizance has been taken.

The Magistrate for taking cognizance is required to be satisfied that prima facie case exist from the investigation at the time of its conclusion.

“The magistrate has to apply his mind to the facts stated in the police report or complaint before taking cognizance for coming to the conclusion that there is sufficient material to proceed with the case. Taking of cognizance is a judicial function and judicial orders cannot be passed in a mechanical or cryptic manner. It is not only against the settled judicial norms but also reflects lack of application of judicial mind to the facts of the case” the Court stated.

The Petition was filed against the order of the Metropolitan Magistrate in which against the charge sheet under Section 447, 506, 420 and 120B of IPC, Magistrate took cognizance.

The counsel of the Petitioner claimed the that impugned order didn’t specify that cognizance was taken for which offence and order was cryptic in nature.

The High Court concluded in the Petition that impugned order was not speaking, Magistrate has not applied his judicial mind and was cryptic and didn’t mention offence on which cognizance was taken.

“Accordingly the impugned order dated 18.09.2018 is set aside. The Trial Court is directed to re-consider the issue of taking the cognizance afresh and to pass the speaking order on the basis of charge sheet” the Court observed.

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