At the stage of issuing process the Magistrate is mainly concerned with the allegation made in the complaint or the evidence led in support of the same and he is only to be prima facie satisfied whether there are sufficient grounds for proceeding against the accused. It is not the province of the Magistrate to enter into a detailed discussion of the merits or de-merits of the case nor can the High Court go into this matter in its revisional jurisdiction which is a very limited one.
The scope of the inquiry under Section 202 is extremely limited –
-only to the ascertainment of the truth or falsehood of the allegations made in the complaint
-on the materials placed by the complainant before the Court;
-for the limited purpose of finding out whether a prima facie case for issue of process has been made out; and
-for deciding the question purely from the point of view of the complainant without at all adverting to any defense that the accused may have.
In fact, in proceedings under Section 202 the accused has got absolutely no locus standi and is not entitled to be heard on the question whether the process should be issued against him or not. It is true that in coming to a decision as to whether a process should be issued the Magistrate can take into consideration inherent improbabilities appearing on the face of the complaint or in the evidence led by the complainant in support of the allegations but there appears to be a very thin line of demarcation between a probability of conviction of the accused and establishment of a prima facie case against him. The Magistrate has been given an undoubted discretion in the matter and the discretion has to be judicially exercised by him. Once the Magistrate has exercised his discretion it is not for the High Court, or even the Supreme Court, to substitute its own discretion for that of the Magistrate or to examine the case on merits with a view to find out whether or not the allegations in the complaint, if proved, would ultimately end in conviction of the accused.These considerations are totally foregin to the scope and ambit of an inquiry under Section 202 which culminates into an order under Section 204.
Thus in the following cases an order of the Magistrate issuing process against the accused can be quashed or set aside:
(1) Where the allegations made in the complaint or the statement of the witness recorded in support of the same taken at their face value make out absolutely no case against the accused or the complaint does not disclose the essential ingredients of an offence which is alleged against the accused;
(2) where the allegations made in the complaint are patently absurd and inherently improbable so that no prudent person can ever reach a conclusion that there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused;
(3) where the discretion exercised by the Magistrate in issuing process is capricious and arbitrary having been based either on no evidence or on materials which are wholly irrelevant or inadmissible; and
(4) where the complaint suffers from fundamental legal defects, such as, want of sanction, or absence of a complaint by legally competent authority and the like.
These view taken in (AIR 1976 SUPREME COURT 1947) “Nagawwa v. Veeranna Shivalingappa Konjalgi by Honbl’e Supreme Court.
Shoaibur Rahman Shoaib