The Criminal Procedure Code 1973 [Cr.P.C.] became amended in 2009 to introduce sure statutory rights for victims of crime. This blanketed the advent of a Victim’s Compensation Scheme [Section 357-A Cr.P.C.] and conferring a proper upon victims to an enchantment towards judgments [By way of inserting a Proviso to Section 372 Cr.P.C.]. During my first few months of working towards, though, I found that the judiciary had played a similarly crucial role in growing the function of the sufferer. For instance, despite the fact that the Cr.P.C. Does now not strictly envisage hearing victims while thinking about the grant of bail, many courts allowed them an opportunity to be heard at this level. This put up makes a specialty of another such judicial advent – the Protest Petition.
What is a Protest Petition?
Simply put, a Protest Petition is an illustration made through the sufferer/informant to the court docket in the course of or after completion of investigation via the police. Today its miles most normally filed after the police document a
Closure Report or B-Report beneath Section 173 Cr.P.C. (what turned into earlier generally understood as the Final Report) wherein the police concludes the allegations aren’t made out towards an accused. The Protest Petition, then, is an opportunity granted to the sufferer/complainant to elevate objections in opposition to those conclusions, before the Magistrate comes to a decision to apply her judicial thoughts to the Final Report.
The Protest Petition via History
It becomes extremely fascinating to trace the improvement of this idea thru time. I daresay I even have finished this venture though, and am nevertheless trudging thru the selections. For instance, at the same time as the High Courts of Patna and Calcutta had significantly dealt with the prison niceties surrounding Protest Petitions before independence, the first stated judgment from Delhi does not come before 1990 in most databases! Unfortunately, I have now not but come across any discussion of the way this changed into a completely unique method with the aid of judges to make certain a few degrees of ensuring victims-rights, at a time while such standards had been alien to the criminal manner throughout maximum parts of the world.
Another exciting aspect was how the High Courts appear to have considered Protest Petitions as any representations protesting towards police investigations. The term predominantly used in Calcutta changed into Naraji, which loosely translates to dissatisfaction. Naturally, this prolonged to petitions filed through each accused humans and complainants/victims, although the latter far outnumber the former. Further, the Protest Petition via an accused seems to have handiest been filed throughout the research, while those by means of complainants were filed all through in addition to after the belief of investigations.
Lastly, the attention of Protest Petitions and popularity of Final Reports with the aid of the police additionally raised critical problems concerning the nature of this exercising: whether it became a government or a judicial function. If the project was considered a govt characteristic, this intended there was confined scope for review of such an order in revision court cases. This is sole of the historic hobby now, in view that the present Cr.P.C. Makes a clean separation among the govt and judicial features of the magistracy. It becomes no longer usually so, and there had been several reviews earlier than 1973 which taken into consideration how this separation should take place (the thirty-seventh Law Commission Report discusses this to some extent).
Filing a Protest Petition
Many exciting procedural problems arose with the aid of permitting this intervention by complainants. I listing some under:
If the Magistrate has a Closure Report and a Protest Petition, can the latter be considered most effective if the Final Report is generic?
Must the Protest Petition be a ‘Complaint’ to take attention?
Must the Complainant be examined on oath under Section 2 hundred Cr.P.C? After taking focus on a Protest Petition?
If the Magistrate takes focus on a Protest Petition whilst there may be a Closure Report, might the case be attempted as a grievance case or one based totally on a police file?
If the Magistrate has a Protest Petition and Closure Report, can the Magistrate ship the police again for similarly research to report a fresh document?
If the Magistrate is rejecting the Closure Report and accepting the Protest Petition, should the case be transferred before every other Magistrate for trial?
Some of these questions may be answered with a diploma of fact. On the first query, there’s no prohibition on thinking about the Protest Petition before accepting the Closure Report. The magistrate may also well look at the protest petition ahead and take focus on the Closure Report itself. The magistrate is likewise empowered to direct a similar investigation under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. After receiving a protest petition. Similarly, it’s miles settled that if the Justice of the Peace does decide to take recognition on the Protest Petition, it ought to satisfy substances of a ‘Complaint’ underneath Section 2(d) of the Cr.P.C., and then the complainant needs to be tested on oath before issuing a summons.