Magistrate (first class or second class) can take cognizance upon: complaint or police report or information received or upon his knowledge under section 190(1) of CRPC,1973.

The chief judicial magistrate can empower any judicial magistrate of the second class to try an offence for which he is competent under section 190(2) of CRPC,1973.

The investigation was initiated by the police without the order of the magistrate, in the belief that the case involves the commission of the cognizable offence. But investigation established the commission of the non-cognizable offence. The report submitted by the police officer to the magistrate deemed as compliant before such magistrate and the police officer who submitted that report will become a complainant.

But if it’s apparent from the facts that the case involves non-cognizable offence. Still, the investigation was done by the police officer without the order of the magistrate. Report submitted after completion of such investigation is not compliant under section 2(d) of CRPC.

The expression ‘taking cognizance’ means the magistrate applied his mind to the facts and circumstances of the case for taking further steps under section 200 or section 202 or section 204 towards inquiry or trial.

But if the magistrate applied his mind for some other reason than to initiate the proceeding like the order of investigation by police under section 156(3), for issuing the search warrant, etc. it doesn’t mean that magistrate is taken judicial notice of the case.

For every individual, there are two ways available to set the law into motion :

  1. By lodging the FIR
  2. Complaint to magistrate 

The magistrate is not bound by the conclusion drawn by the police on the report. He can take action even if no offence is made out of the police report under section 190(1)(b) CRPC,1973

The magistrate can also reject the police report and order for an inquiry under section 200 of CRPC,1973.

The magistrate before taking the cognizance sees that all the ingredients of the offence are fulfilled.

Magistrate power to take cognizance of information received or upon his knowledge under section 190(1)(c) is for vindicating justice even if the aggrieved person is not willing to set the law into motion. The word ‘knowledge is liberally construed, it can be derived from any source.

The word ‘may’ is used by the legislators in this section, despite that the Magistrate is bound to take cognizance of a proper complaint or police report.

There is no involvement of the accused at this stage because who is the accused is decided by the magistrate after taking the offence.

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