Failure of prosecution to establish its case cannot be a ground for initiating criminal action against the investigating officer
Ranbir Singh and Ors Vs The State of Uttarakhand
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1631 OF 2019
About/from the judgment:
The court observed that failure of prosecution to establish its case cannot be the ground for initiating criminal action against the investigating officer.
Five persons were arrayed as accused in Session Trial No.14 of 2011 on the file of District & Sessions Judge, Tehri Garhwal, for the offences punishable under Section 304 read with 201 IPC. The prosecution led oral and documentary evidence. After considering rival submissions, the Trial Court by its judgment and order dated 21.1.2013 acquitted all the accused of the charges levelled against them.
However, certain directions were passed by the trial court as “All the accused are acquitted from the charge u/s 304 & 201 of IPC. All the accused are on bail, their bail bonds shall remain continue for a period of six months as per Section 437-A of Cr.P.C. if there is no appeal their bond shall be cancelled and sureties shall be discharged after expiry of a period of six month from the judgment. Further to ensure the free and fair investigation let a copy of this judgment be sent to Sri Satyavrat Bansal, Director General of Police, Government of Uttarakhand, Police Headquarter Dehradun and Mrs. Vinita Kumar, Principal Secretary, Home Affairs, Govt. of Uttarakhand, Dehradun to lodge a case against Sri Dhiraj Mani Baluni, Investigating Officer and PW-2 Mukesh Chauhan, PW-4 Ranbir Singh, PW-5, Vishal Singh Rana and PW-7 Ramesh Singh Rawat u/s 218 of IPC and Section 3(2)(ii) and (vii) of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.”
Aggrieved by the directions passed by the Trial Court which are quoted hereinabove, the concerned persons, namely, the Investigating Officer and PWs 2,4,5 and 7 had also preferred applications under Section 482 Cr.P.C. being Criminal Miscellaneous Application Nos.350 and 813 of 2013 which were rejected by the High Court. Then IO & other persons approached the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court observed and held as under:
"We have gone through the record and do not find any material on the basis of which it could possibly be said that the course of investigation was deliberately twisted or changed to confer any advantage on the accused who were facing trial.
The case of the prosecution was based purely on circumstantial evidence and the acquittal of the accused was premised on the assessment that the prosecution had failed to establish its case.
That does not necessarily mean that the investigator and the concerned witnesses ought to be proceeded against for the offence under Section 218 IPC.
There is no reason why such prosecution be initiated against the aforesaid investigating officer and the concerned witnesses".
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