After completion of investigation in a criminal case, the police has to forward report to the Court u/s 173(2) of the CrPC.
Upon receipt of this police report, the Court may;
- Refuse to take cognizance (and close the case); or
- Direct further investigation u/s 156 and/or 173(8) CrPC; or
- Take cognizance u/s 190 1(b) CrPC – meaning – summon the accused to face trial (or in some cases, take cognisance and direct further investigation).
If the Court decides to proceed ahead with the case and sees merit in the case, well and good.
But when the Court decides not to take cognizance of an offence and decides to drop the proceedings, or does not issue process against all the accused named in the FIR, the Court is under an obligation to give notice of this fact to the complainant/informant.
This is with a view to give her (a vital stakeholder!) an opportunity to make submissions before the Court; to persuade the Court to see merit in the case, take cognizance of the offence, and summon the accused to face trial.
This submission before the Court is what is termed as a ‘Protest Petition’.
PS : There is no concept of a ‘Protest Petition’ in the CrPC. This concept is a judicial innovation (and a great one at that!)
- Section 173 CrPC
- Section 190 CrPC
- Bhagwant Singh v. Commissioner of Police and Another, AIR (1985) SC 1285,
- Gangadhar Janardan Mhatre vs. State of Maharashtra and Ors. (2004) 7 SCC 768
Guest post by Rajat Tomar