It is undoubtedly trues that before a Magistrate proceeds to accept a final report under Section 173 CrPC and exonerates the accused, it is incumbent upon the Magistrate to apply his mind to the contents of the protest petition and arrive at a conclusion thereafter. While the investigating officer may rest content by producing the final report, which, according to him, is the culmination of his efforts, the duty of the Magistrate is not one limited to readily accepting the final report. It is incumbent upon him to go through the materials, and after hearing the complainant and considering the contents of the protest petition, final decide the future course of action to be, whether to continue with the matter or to bring the curtains down.
If a protest petition fulfills the requirements of a complaint, the Magistrate may treat the protest petition as a complaint and deal with the same as required under Section 200 read with Section 202 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Vishnu Kumar Tiwari v. State of U.P., (2019) 8 SCC 27.