The expression ‘sufficient ground’ in this Section points exclusively to the facts which the complainant brings to the knowledge of the Magistrate and to their establishing a prima facie case against the accused.
In exercising his discretionary power of summary dismissal of the complaint, the Magistrate should not allow himself to be influenced by considerations altogether apart from the facts adduced by the complainant in support of the charge, nor by a consideration of the motive by which the complainant is accused.
The decision whether there is sufficient ground must be reached by the exercise of discretion based upon judicial consideration. A Magistrate should not dismiss a complaint without hearing the witnesses of the complainant present in Court. The reasons for dismissing a complaint should be based on the inference of facts arising from or discovered by the complaint, the examination of the complaint, and the investigation, if any, made under Section 202.
A Magistrate may dismiss a complaint—
(i) If he finds that no offence has been committed upon the statement of the complaint;
(ii) If he distrusts the statement made by the complainant; and
(iii) If he finds that there is no sufficient ground for proceeding basing on the results of inquiry as provided by Section 202.
It should be possible for the accused at this stage to satisfy the Magistrate that there was no case at all against him and that he can even recall the order issuing process under Section 204 and dismiss the complaint under Section 203.
A magistrate cannot dismiss a complaint unless he finds that the evidence led before him is self-contradictory, or intrinsically untrustworthy. The process cannot be refused if that evidence makes out a prima facie case.