Showing posts with label Investigation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Investigation. Show all posts

01 October 2020

Investigating Officer cannot withheld relevant evidence that would favour the accused and in such cases adverse inference can be drawn against prosecution

If it appears impossible to convict accused inspite of witnesses are presumed to be true without any cross examination, the accused deserves to be discharge



    The Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Manjeet Singh Khera Vs. State of Maharashtra: 2013 (9) SCC 276 held as under:
Investigating Officer cannot withheld relevant evidence that would favour the accused and in such cases adverse inference cam be drawn against prosecution

"........8. The Court also noticed that seizure of large number of documents in the course of investigation of a criminal case is a common feature. After completion of the process of investigation and before submission of the report to the Court under Section 173 Cr.P.C, a fair amount of application of mind on the part of the investigating agency is inbuilt in the process. These documents would fall in two categories: one, which supports the prosecution case and other which supports the accused. At this stage, duty is cast on the investigating officer to evaluate the two sets of documents and materials collected and, if required, to exonerate the accused at that stage itself. However, many times it so happens that the investigating officer ignores the part of seized documents which favour the accused and forwards to the Court only those documents which supports the prosecution. If such a situation is pointed out by the accused and those documents which were supporting the accused and have not been forwarded and are not on the record of the Court, whether the prosecution would have to supply those documents when the accused person demands them? The Court did not answer this question specifically stating that the said question did not arise in the said case. In that case, the documents were forwarded to the Court under Section 173(5) Cr.P.C. but were not relied upon by the prosecution and the accused wanted copies/inspection of those documents. This Court held that it was incumbent upon the trial court to supply the copies of these documents to the accused as that entitlement was a facet of just, fair and transparent investigation/trial and constituted an inalienable attribute of the process of a fair trial which Article 21 of the Constitution guarantees to every accused. We would like to reproduce the following portion of the said judgment discussing this aspect:
"21.The issue that has emerged before us is, therefore, somewhat larger than what has been projected by the State and what has been dealt with by the High Court. The question arising would no longer be one of compliance or non- compliance with the provisions of Section 207 Cr.P.C. and would travel beyond the confines of the strict language of the provisions of Cr.P.C. and touch upon the larger doctrine of a free and fair trial that has been painstakingly built up by the courts on a purposive interpretation of Article 21 of the Constitution. It is not the stage of making of the request; the efflux of time that has occurred or the prior conduct of the accused that is material. What is of significance is if in a given situation the accused comes to the court contending that some papers forwarded to the court by the investigating agency have not been exhibited by the prosecution as the same favours the accused the court must concede a right to the accused to have an access to the said documents, if so claimed. This, according to us, is the core issue in the case which must be answered affirmatively. In this regard, we would like to be specific in saying that we find it difficult to agree with the view taken by the High Court that the accused must be made to await the conclusion of the trial to test the plea of prejudice that he may have raised. Such a plea must be answered at the earliest and certainly before the conclusion of the trial, even though it may be raised by the accused belatedly. This is how the scales of justice in our criminal jurisprudence have to be balanced."[Para No.63]

03 September 2020

Once a Magistrate takes cognizance of the offence, he is, thereafter, precluded from ordering an investigation under Section 156(3) of CrPC

After calling report u/s.202 of CrPC, Magistrate can not order investigation u/s.156(3) of CrPC.

   I may first deal with the question as to whether the Magistrate ought to have proceeded under Section 156(3), after receipt of enquiry report from Senior Superintendent of Police, Srinagar, sought on taking cognizance of complaint and after deferment of process or was required to proceed under Section 202(1) and what are the parameters for exercise of power under the two provisions.[Para No.12]

     The two provisions are in two different chapters of the Code, though common expression 'investigation' is used in both the provisions. Normal rule is to understand the same expression in two provisions of an enactment in same sense unless the context otherwise requires. Heading of Chapter XII is "Information to the Police and their Powers to Investigate" and that of Chapter XV is "Complaints to Magistrate". Heading of Chapter XIV is "Conditions Requisite for Initiation of Proceedings". The two provisions i.e. Sections 156 and 202 in Chapters XII and XV respectively are as follows :
"156. Police officer's power to investigate cognizable case.
(1) Any officer in charge of a police station may, without the order of a Magistrate, investigate any cognizable case which a Court having jurisdiction over the local area within the limits of such station would have power to inquire into or try under the provisions of Chapter XIII.
(2) No proceeding of a police officer in any such case shall at any stage be called in question on the ground that the case was one which such officer was not empowered under this section to investigate.
(3) Any Magistrate empowered under section 190 may order such an investigation as above- mentioned.
202. Postponement of issue of process.-
(1) Any Magistrate , on receipt of a complaint of an offence of which he is authorized to take cognizance or which has been made over to him under section 192, may, if he thinks fit, [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 himself 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 witnesses 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 his 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."[Para No.13]

   Cognizance is taken by a Magistrate under Section 190 (in Chapter XIV) either on "receiving a complaint", on "a police report" or "information received" from any person other than a police officer or upon his own knowledge.
    Chapter XV deals exclusively with complaints to Magistrates. Reference to Sections, 202, in the said Chapter, shows that it provides for "postponement of issue of process" which is mandatory if accused resides beyond the Magistrate's jurisdiction (with which situation this case does not concern) and discretionary in other cases in which event an enquiry can be conducted by the Magistrate or investigation can be directed to be made by a police officer or such other person as may be thought fit "for the purpose of deciding whether or not there is sufficient ground for proceeding". I am skipping the proviso as it does not concern the question under discussion. Clause (3) provides that if investigation is by a person other than a police officer, he shall have all the powers of an officer incharge of a police station except the power to arrest.[Para No.14]

   Chapter XII, dealing with the information to the police and their powers to investigate, provides for entering information relating to a 'cognizable offence' in a book to be kept by the officer incharge of a police station (Section 154) and such entry is called "FIR". If from the information, the officer incharge of the police station has reason to suspect commission of an offence which he is empowered to investigate subject to compliance of other requirements, he shall proceed, to the spot, to investigate the facts and circumstances and, if necessary, to take measure, for the discovery and arrest of the offender (Section 157(1).[Para No.15]

    Power under Section 202 is of different nature. Report sought under the said provision has limited purpose of deciding "whether or not there is sufficient ground for proceeding". If this be the object, the procedure under Chapter XV of the Code of Criminal Procedure are required to be adhered to in letter and spirit.[Para No.19]

    Admittedly the Magistrate has taken cognizance and find it necessary to postpone issuance of process, therefore, directed for enquiry by the Police and on receipt of the report from SSP, Srinagar, the Magistrate was required to proceed in terms of the provisions contained in Chapter XV of the Criminal Procedure Code. Thus, I answer the first question by holding that the direction under Section 156(3) is to be issued, only after application of mind by the Magistrate. When the Magistrate does not take cognizance and does not find it necessary to postpone instance of process and finds a case made out to proceed forthwith, direction under the said provision is issued, when Magistrate takes cognizance and postpones issuance of process, the Magistrate has yet to determine "existence of sufficient ground to proceed" and these cases fall under Section 202. Subject to these broad guidelines available from the scheme of the Code, exercise of discretion by the Magistrate is guided by interest of justice from case to case.[Para No.20]

    To reiterate for the guidance of all the Magistrates in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh, it has become necessary to refer the Judgment reported in (2010) 4 Supreme Court Cases 185 titled Rameshbhai Pandurao Hedau Vs. State of Gujrat, which postulates that while the power to direct a police investigation under Section 156(3) is exercisable at the pre-cognizance stage, the power to direct an investigation or an enquiry under Section 202(1) is exercisable at the post-cognizance stage, when the Magistrate is in seisin of the case.[Para No.21]

Once a Magistrate takes cognizance of the offence, he is, thereafter, precluded from ordering an investigation under Section 156(3) of CrPC
    The settled legal position has been enunciated by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in several decisions and has observed that the Courts are ad idem on the question that the powers under Section 156(3) can be invoked by the Magistrate at a pre-cognizance stage, whereas powers under Section 202 of the Code are to be invoked after cognizance is taken on a complaint, but before issuance of process. Such a view has been expressed in Suresh Chand Jain case reported in (2001) 2 SCC 628: 2001 SCC (Cri) 377 as well as in Dharmeshbhai Vasudevbhai case, reported in (2009) 6 SCC 576: (2009) 3 SCC (Cri) 76 and in Devarapalli Lakshminarayana Reddy case, reported in (1976) 3 SCC 252: 1976 SCC (Cri) 380.[Para No.22]

01 September 2020

Trial is not vitiated if investigation is conducted by the informant/police officer who himself is the complainant

Now we consider the relevant provisions of the Cr. P. C. with respect to the investigation.

    Section 154 Cr.P.C. provides that every information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence, if given orally to an officer in charge of a police station, shall be reduced to writing by him or under his direction.

    Section 156 Cr.P.C. provides that any officer in charge of a police station may investigate any cognizable offence without the order of a Magistrate. It further provides that no proceeding of a police officer in any such case shall at any stage be called in question on the ground that the case was one which such officer was not empowered under this section to investigate. Therefore, as such, a duty is cast on an officer in charge of a police station to reduce the information in writing relating to commission of a cognizable offence and thereafter to investigate the same.

    Section 157 Cr.P.C. specifically provides that if, from information received or otherwise, an officer in charge of a police station has reason to suspect the commission of an offence which he is empowered under Section 156 to investigate, he shall forthwith send a report of the same to a Magistrate empowered to take cognizance of such offence upon a police report and shall proceed in person to the spot to investigate the facts and circumstances of the case and, if necessary, to take measures for the discovery and arrest of the offender.

Trial is not vitiated if investigation is conducted by the informant/police officer who himself is the complainant
    Therefore, considering Section 157 Cr.P.C., either on receiving the information or otherwise (may be from other sources like secret information, from the hospital, or telephonic message), it is an obligation cast upon such police officer, in charge of a police station, to take cognizance of the information and to reduce into writing by himself and thereafter to investigate the facts and circumstances of the case, and, if necessary, to take measures for the discovery and arrest of the offender. Take an example, if an officer in charge of a police station passes on a road and he finds a dead body and/or a person being beaten who ultimately died and there is no body to give a formal complaint in writing, in such a situation, and when the said officer in charge of a police station has reason to suspect the commission of an offence, he has to reduce the same in writing in the form of an information/complaint. In such a situation, he is not precluded from further investigating the case. He is not debarred to conduct the investigation in such a situation. It may also happen that an officer in charge of a police station is in the police station and he receives a telephonic message, may be from a hospital, and there is no body to give a formal complaint in writing, such a police officer is required to reduce the same in writing which subsequently may be converted into an FIR/complaint and thereafter he will rush to the spot and further investigate the matter. There may be so many circumstances like such. That is why, Sections 154, 156 and 157 Cr.P.C. come into play.[Para No.9]

21 August 2020

In computing period of 60/90 days for default bail u/s.167(2) of CrPC, first day of remand is to be included

The applicability of the aforesaid principle and also of the provision contained in Section 9 of the General Clauses Act would be of some semblance/relevance, where the law/statute prescribes a limitation and in terms of Section 9, if in any Central Act or Regulation made after the commencement of the General Clauses Act, 1897 it shall be sufficient for the purpose of excluding the first in a series of days or any other days or any other period of time, to use the word ‘from’ and ‘for the purpose of including the last in a series of days or any other period of time to use the word ‘to’. The principle would be attracted when a period is delimited by a Statute or Rule, which has both a beginning and an end; the word ‘from’ indicate the beginning and then the opening day is to be excluded and then the last day is included by use of words ‘to’. The requisite form for applicability of Section 9 is prescribed for a period ‘from’ and ‘to’, i.e. when the period is marked by terminus quo and terminus ad quem.

    If this principle is the underlining principle for applicability of Section 9 of the General Clauses Act, 1897, perusal of Section 167 (2) would reveal that there is no starting point or an end point. In the scheme of the Code, as has been elaborated above, the provisions contained in sub-section (1) of Section 167 runs in continuation of sub-section (2). Production of the accused before the Magistrate is a sequel of his arrest by the police in exercise of their power and the mandate of the police, and at the same time, a right of the accused to be produced before the Magistrate within 24 hours. The day on which the accused is brought on remand before the Magistrate, sub-section (2) of Section 167 empowers the Magistrate to authorize the detention with the police either by continuing it or remanding him to Magisterial custody. There cannot be a pause/break between the two processes. There is no de-limitation conceptualized in Section 167 nor can it be befitted into a period of limitation ‘from’ and ‘to’ as there is no limitation for completion of investigation and filing of the charge-sheet. The production before the Magistrate is a process in continuation of his arrest by the police and the Magistrate will authorize his detention for not more than 15 days in the whole but if he is satisfied that sufficient ground exist, he may authorise his detention beyond 15 days otherwise than in custody of police. There is no starting point or end point for the authorities to complete their action but if the investigation is not completed and charge-sheet not filed within 60 days or 90 days, a right accrues to the accused to be released on bail.

In computing period of 60/90 days for default bail u/s167(2) of CrPC, first day of remand is to be included

    The anterior period of custody with the police prior to the remand is no detention pursuant to an authorization issued from the Magistrate. The period of detention by the Magistrate runs only from the date of order of first remand. Sub-section (2) of Section 167 of the Cr.P.C pertain to the power of the Magistrate to remand an accused and there is no reason why the first day has to be excluded. The sub-section finds place in a provision which prescribe the procedure when investigation cannot be completed in 24 hours and distinct contingencies are carved out in sub-section (2); the first being the Magistrate authorizing the detention of the accused for a term not exceeding 15 days in the whole, secondly, when the Magistrate do not consider further detention necessary and thirdly, the Magistrate authorise the detention beyond period of 15 days if adequate grounds exists for doing so. However, there is no time stipulated as to extension of custody beyond period of 15 days with a maximum limit on the same. The accused can be in magisterial custody for unlimited point of time if he is not admitted to bail. In order to avoid the long incarceration of an accused for the mere reason that the investigation is being carried out in a leisurely manner, prompted the legislature to confer a right on the accused to be released on bail if he is prepared to do so and the investigation can still continue. This is the precise reason why the General clauses Act cannot be made applicable to sub-section (2) of Section 167 and the submission of Mr.Singh to the effect that the first day of remand will have to be excluded, would result into a break in the continuity of the custody of the accused which begin on his arrest and which could have continued till conclusion of investigation but for insertion of proviso to subsection (2) of Section 167.

01 August 2020

Gravity of offence alone cannot be a decisive ground to deny bail

It is improper to refuse bail to an unconvicted person for the propose of giving him a taste of imprisonment as a lesson


    Recently, the Hon'ble Apex Court in Criminal Appeal No. 227/2018, Dataram Singh vs. State of Uttar Pradesh & Anr decided on 6.2.2018 has held that freedom of an individual can not be curtailed for indefinite period, especially when his/her guilt is yet to be proved. It has further held by the Hon'ble Apex Court in the aforesaid judgment that a person is believed to be innocent until found guilty. The Hon'ble Apex Court has held as under:
"2. A fundamental postulate of criminal jurisprudence is the presumption of innocence, meaning thereby that a person is believed to be innocent until found guilty. However, there are instances in our criminal law where a reverse onus has been placed on an accused with regard to some specific offences but that is another matter and does not detract from the fundamental postulate in respect of other offences. Yet another important facet of our criminal jurisprudence is that the grant of bail is the general rule and putting a person in jail or in a prison or in a correction home (whichever expression one may wish to use) is an exception.
    Unfortunately, some of these basic principles appear to have been lost sight of with the result that more and more persons are being incarcerated and for longer periods. This does not do any good to our criminal jurisprudence or to our society.
3. There is no doubt that the grant or denial of bail is entirely the discretion of the judge considering a case but even so, the exercise of judicial discretion has been circumscribed by a large number of decisions rendered by this Court and by every High Court in the country. Yet, occasionally there is a necessity to introspect whether denying bail to an accused person is the right thing to do on the facts and in the circumstances of a case.
4. While so introspecting, among the factors that need to be considered is whether the accused was arrested during investigations when that person perhaps has the best opportunity to tamper with the evidence or influence witnesses. If the investigating officer does not find it necessary to arrest an accused person during investigations, a strong case should be made out for placing that person in judicial custody after a charge sheet is filed. Similarly, it is important to ascertain whether the accused was participating in the investigations to the satisfaction of the investigating officer and was not absconding or not appearing when required by the investigating officer. Surely, if an accused is not hiding from the investigating officer or is hiding due to some genuine and expressed fear of being victimised, it would be a factor that a judge would need to consider in an appropriate case. It is also necessary for the judge to consider whether the accused is a first­time offender or has been accused of other offences and if so, the nature of such offences and his or her general conduct. The poverty or the deemed indigent status of an accused is also an extremely important factor
and even Parliament has taken notice of it by incorporating an Explanation to Section 436 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. An equally soft approach to incarceration has been taken by Parliament by inserting Section 436A in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
Gravity of offence alone cannot be a decisive ground to deny bail
5. To put it shortly, a humane attitude is required to be adopted by a judge, while dealing with an application for remanding a suspect or an accused person to police custody or judicial custody. There are several reasons for this including maintaining the dignity of an accused person, howsoever poor that person might be, the requirements of Article 21 of the Constitution and the fact that there is enormous overcrowding in prisons, leading to social and other problems as noticed by this Court in In Re­Inhuman Conditions in 1382 Prisons."[Para No.8]

28 July 2020

Police authorities are not the adjudicators of guilt or innocence of any person

A person cannot be denuded of his or her dignity merely because he/she is an accused or is under trial.


A media campaign to pronounce a person guilty would certainly destroy the presumption of innocence.


    It is also necessary to bear in mind that human dignity is recognized as a constitutional value and a right to maintain one's reputation is a facet of human dignity. A person cannot be denuded of his or her dignity merely because he/she is an accused or is under trial.
[Para No.24]

Police authorities are not the adjudicators of guilt or innocence of any person
   The police or any other agency cannot use media to influence public opinion to accept that the accused is guilty of an alleged offence while the matter is still being investigated. The same is not only likely to subvert the fairness of the investigation but would also have the propensity to destroy or weaken the presumption of innocence, which must be maintained in favour of the accused till he/she is found guilty after a fair trial.
[Para No45.]

   It is also well settled that the right to receive information is one of the essential the facets of Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. The right to freedom of speech and expression also encompasses the right to information. However, this right is not absolute and may be curtailed if it interferes with the administration of justice and the right of an accused to a fair trial.[Para No.46]

23 July 2020

Writ petition u/A 226 is not maintainable against inaction of police in registration of FIR

Investigation is the function of the police and writ court cannot be converted as an investigation agency.


   Indeed that Section 39 of the Cr.P.C enables the public to set the criminal law in motion, but if the officer in-charge, fails to register an FIR, the Hon'ble Supreme Court as well as this Court, in the above decisions have considered whether the only remedy open to the complainant or the first informant or the member of public to approach the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India and that there is no other remedy provided under any other law, and answered that writ is not the remedy.[Para No.103]

   It is clear from the above provisions in the Cr.P.C., that if the police did not register a case on the basis of a complaint filed by the complainant, then he has got a remedy in the Code of Criminal Procedure, by approaching the jurisdictional Magistrate under Section 156(3) of the Code or even file a private complaint under Section 190 read with Section 200 of the Code, and when a complaint is filed, then the Magistrate has to conduct enquiry under Sections 200 and 202 of the Code, and if the Magistrate is satisfied on the basis of the materials produced before that court that commission of an offence has been prima facie made out, then the Magistrate can take cognizance of the case and issue process to the accused under Section 204 of the Code. If the Magistrate is not satisfied with the materials produced and if he is satisfied that no offence has been made out, then the Magistrate can dismiss the complaint under Section 203 of the Code.[Para No.104]

Writ petition u/A 226 is not maintainable against inaction of police in registration of FIR
   Even if the Station House Officer commits a mistake in arriving at the conclusion that the allegations are not sufficient to attract the ingredients of commission of a cognizable offence, even this Court cannot invoke the power under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, go into the question as to whether non satisfaction by the Station House Officer is proper or not, to issue a writ of mandamus or other writs directing the Station House Officer to register a crime as it is a matter to be considered by the Magistrate under Section 190 read with Section 200 of the Code on a complaint filed by the aggrieved party on account of the inaction on the part of the police in not registering case in such cases. If an enquiry has to be conducted for satisfaction regarding the commission of offence, then it is not proper on the part of the High Court to invoke the power under Article 226 of the Constitution of India and parties must be relegated to resort to their statutory remedy available under the Code in such cases. After lodging the complaint before the concerned police and if the police is not registering the case, the aggrieved person/complainant can approach the Superintendent of Police with written application under Section 154(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and even in a case the Superintendent of Police also does not register an FIR or no proper investigation is done, the aggrieved person can approach the Magistrate concern under Section 156 (3) of Cr.P.C. Without resorting to the procedure as contemplated in the Cr.P.C, the petitioner has approached this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.[Para No.105]

09 July 2020

Bail application u/s.167(2) of CrPC must be dispose of forthwith

Now, the law in relation to the right of an accused to bail in the event charge-sheet is not filed within the stipulated time-frame under section 167(2) Cr.P.C. is well settled. In Achpal alias Ramswaroop & Anr. vs. State of Rajasthan : (2019) 14 SCC 599, the Supreme Court has reiterated the following position of law:

"11. The law on the point as to the rights of an accused who is in custody pending investigation and where the investigation is not completed within the period prescribed under Section 167(2) of the Code, is crystallised in the judgment of this Court in Uday Mohanlal Acharya v. State of Maharashtra. This case took into account the decision of this Court in Hitendra Vishnu Thakur v. State of Maharashtra, Sanjay Dutt (2) v. State and Bipin Shantilal Panchal v. State of Gujarat. Pattanaik, J. (as the learned Chief Justice then was) speaking for the majority recorded conclusions in para 13 of his judgment. For the present purposes, we may extract Conclusions 3 and 4 as under: (Uday Mohanlal Acharya case, SCC p. 473, para 13) "13. ... 3. On the expiry of the said period of 90 days or 60 days, as the case may be, an indefeasible right accrues in favour of the accused for being released on bail on account of default by the investigating agency in the completion of the investigation within the period prescribed and the accused is entitled to be released on bail, if he is prepared to and furnishes the bail as directed by the Magistrate.
Bail application u/s.167(2) of CrPC must be dispose of forthwith
4.  When an application for bail is filed by an accused for enforcement of his indefeasible right alleged to have been accrued in his favour on account of default on the part of the investigating agency in completion of the investigation within the specified period, the Magistrate/court must dispose of it forthwith, on being satisfied that in fact the accused has been in custody for the period of 90 days or 60 days, as specified and no charge-sheet has been filed by the investigating agency. Such prompt action on the part of the Magistrate/court will not enable the prosecution to frustrate the object of the Act and the legislative mandate of an accused being released on bail on account of the default on the part of the investigating agency in completing the investigation within the period stipulated."

03 July 2020

Accused is not entitled for default bail u/s.167(2) of Cr.P.C. if chargesheet has already been filed before his surrender in the court

Offence u/s. 420, 406, 409, 465, 467, 468, 471, 120-B of IPC and 7 & 13(1) A of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 - Chargesheet against one accused filed on 23.01.2019 - applicant-accused shown as absconded - on 23.11.2019 applicant-accused surrendered before the court - application for default bail u/s.167(2) of Cr.P.C. filed om 24.02.2020

Held: It is not essential for a person to be arrested before chargesheet can be presented against him. The only requirement for applicability of the proviso to Section 167(2) Cr.P.C. is that investigation should be pending against the petitioner-accused and no investigation can be said to be pending if chargesheet is filed before his arrest or surrender before the court.


   A perusal of the challan presented on 23.01.2019, a copy whereof is annexed as Annexure P-2, shows that list of the case property had been filed therewith along with a list of witnesses. Thereafter, the facts of the case have been narrated. The last few lines are reproduced:-
"The warrants have been got issued from the Learned Illaqa Magistrate against Sandeep Kumar son of Jagdish Chander r/o Panj Ke Utar Police Station Guruharsahai, Rishu Matneja w/o Sandeep Kumar r/o Panj Ke Utar Police Station Guruharsahai, Jaswinder Pal Singh son of Gurmeet Singh r/o Dashmesh Nagar Jalalabad, Jasmeet Singh son of Amarjeet Singh r/o Jalalabad. Hansa Singh, Inspector Grade 2, resident of Shamshabad, District Fazilka, Harpreet Singh son of Gurmeet Singh resident of Dashmesh Nagar, Jalalabad and after arresting them supplementary challan would be presented in the court and after getting evidence of involvement of staff of Punjab National Bank, a separate supplementary challan would be submitted against them. The pending enquiry of the case after taking the record and thereafter supplementary challan shall be presented. As per the evidence, the investigation till and the evidence collected on file challan under Sections 420, 465, 467, 468, 471, 406, 120-B IPC against accused Sandeep Kumar is required to be presented and the same after being prepared against Sandeep Kumar under Sections 420, 465, 467, 468, 471, 406, 120-B IPC is being presented to the Court. The witnesses mentioned
in Column no.6 shall give their statements as required."[Para No.11]
Accused is not entitled for default bail u/s.167 of Cr.P.C. if chargesheet has already been filed before his surrender in the court
From the aforementioned reproduction from the challan it is evident that evidence necessary for commencement of trial against the petitioner and his co-accused has/had been collected by the investigating agency. The petitioner was kept in column No.2 only because he had not been arrested as is the practice in the State of Punjab. Learned counsel for the petitioner has not refuted the submission of the learned State counsel that such a practice exists in the State of Punjab. Warrants of arrest had been requested for and this would not have been the case if the petitioner had not been found guilty. The challan dated 24.02.2020 against the petitioner was only a formality. In Dinesh Dalmia (supra) it has been held as follows:-

23 May 2020

Examination of investigating officer; before injured or eye witness is examined, does not cause prejudice to accused in his defence

Fair trial - order of examination of witnesses by prosecution - Sec.135 of Evidence Act - Sec.230, 231, 311 of CrPC

   Does examination of investigating officer before injured or eye witness is examined, cause prejudice to accused in his defence?

Held: No

01 May 2020

Subsequent complaint can be clubbed with existing F.I.R.

F.I.R. made by the father of victim girl that she might have been kidnapped/abducted. After registration of FIR, complaint made by the victim girl about her sexual exploitation with detail incident.

   Can such complaint be clubbed with existing FIR?


   If the FIR lodged by her father is the skeleton, victim's complaint is the flesh and blood to it.

   If the investigating agency had taken a decision to club the subsequent complaint with earlier FIR it cannot be said that the investigating agency violated any provision of law. In fact, such clubbing was legally justified. 

Subsequent-complaint
 It is well settled that a first information report need not necessarily be lodged by the victim of a sexual offence. Any person having information of the offence can report. It is equally well settled that an FIR need not be an encyclopedia of all the facts and allegations describing an offence. The object of lodging a first information report is to report an offence, cognizable in nature, so that the matter is investigated and a police report is submitted in court to enable it to take cognizance and proceed against the accused.

29 April 2020

WhatsApp Group is a public place

WhatsApp cannot be a public place if messages are exchanged on personal accounts of two persons. If these messages had been posted on WhatsApp Group, in that case the same could have been called as public place because all the members of the group, will have access to those messages. It is not the prosecution case that the alleged obscene messages were posted on WhatsApp Group of which the petitioner and the respondent No. 2 and others are the members. Therefore, sending the personal messages on WhatsApp will not amount to utterance of obscene words in public place. Therefore, Section 294 of the I.P.C. cannot be invoked.[Para no.10]

28 April 2020

What procedure should be adopted by court when chargesheet is filed against some accused out of several accused persons?

separate-trial

   The catch comes when against one or more accused persons, a Report labelling them responsible for commission of the offence(s) is submitted vide chargesheet and it is also indicated that investigation is pending against the other named/unknown accused or otherwise. In such a situation, the Court has two options:


19 April 2020

Can registration of F.I.R. be denied if civil proceeding is pending?

FIR-in-civil-disputeA civil dispute should not be given the colour of a criminal offence, and at the same time, mere pendency of the civil proceeding is not a good ground and justification to not register and investigate an FIR if a criminal offence has been committed.[Para No.9]





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