(1) Any Magistrate, on receipt of a complaint of an offence of which he is authorised to take cognizance or which has been made over to hi m under section 192 , may, if he thinks fit1[and shall in a case where the accused is residing at a place beyond the area in which he exercises his jurisdiction], postpone the issue of process against the accused, and either inquire into the case hi mself or direct an investigation to be made by a police officer or by such other person as he thinks fit, for the purpose of deciding whether or not there is sufficient ground for proceeding:
Provided that no such direction for investigation shall be made-
(a) where it appears to the Magistrate that the offence complained of is triable exclusively by the Court of Sessions; or
(b) where the complaint has not been made by a Court, unless the complainant and the witnesses present (if any) have been examined on oath under section 200 .
(2) In an inquiry under sub-section (1), the Magistrate may, if he thinks fit, take evidence of witness on oath:
Provided that if it appears to the Magistrate that the offence complained of is triable exclusively by the Court of Session, he shall call upon the complainant to produce all hi s witnesses and examine them on oath.
(3) If an investigation under sub-section (1) is made by a person not being a police officer, he shall have for that investigation all the powers conferred by this Code on an officer in charge of a police station except the power to arrest without warrant.
1. Inserted vide The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2005