Section 139 CrPC: Magistrate’s Power to Order Local Investigation and Expert Examination

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Section 139 CrPC: Magistrate’s Power to Order Local Investigation and Expert Examination

1. Code

The Indian Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) Section 139

2. Explanation

Section 139 CrPC empowers a Magistrate to order a local investigation or expert examination when it is deemed necessary for the investigation of an offense.

  • Local Investigation: This involves the Magistrate visiting the scene of the crime or any other relevant location to gather evidence, observe the surroundings, and understand the circumstances of the offense.
  • Expert Examination: This involves engaging an expert in a particular field (such as medical, scientific, or technical) to examine evidence or provide an opinion on a specific aspect of the case.

The Magistrate has the power to order such investigations even in cases where no formal complaint has been filed.

3. Illustration

Suppose a person is found dead in a building. The Magistrate, in order to ascertain the cause of death and understand the circumstances of the incident, might order the following:

  • Local Investigation: The Magistrate may visit the building, inspect the scene of the incident, and take photographs and measurements of the surroundings.
  • Expert Examination: The Magistrate may order a medical examination of the body by a qualified doctor to determine the cause of death or engage a forensic expert to examine the evidence for traces of poison or other harmful substances.

4. Common Question and Answers

  • Q: Who can order a local investigation or expert examination?
    A: A Magistrate has the power to order such investigations under Section 139 CrPC.
  • Q: When can such an order be made?
    A: It can be ordered when the Magistrate deems it necessary for the investigation of an offense. This can even be before a formal complaint is filed.
  • Q: What are the types of experts who can be engaged?
    A: The expert can be in any field relevant to the case, including medical, scientific, or technical fields.
  • Q: What are the legal consequences of failing to comply with an order under Section 139 CrPC?
    A: Failing to comply with such an order can be considered contempt of court and attract penal consequences.
Also Read  CrPC Section 238: Compliance with Section 207 - Code of Criminal Procedure
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