IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO.3143 OF 2009
Gyanchand Verma, ]
Age: 68 yrs., 703, Redwood, ]
Magigold Premises, ]
Kalyani Nagar, ]
PUNE - 411 014. ] ...Petitioner Versus
1) Sudhakar B. Pujari, ]
Senior Police Inspector, ]
Kole Kalyan Welfare & Training ]
Centre, Kalina, Mumbai. ]
2) The State of Maharashtra ]
3) The Director General, ]
Anti Corruption Bureau, ]
Maharashtra, Madhu Industrial Estate, ]
Pandurang Budhkar Marg, ]
Worli, Mumbai. ] ...Respondents ......
Mr. Dinesh Tiwari for Petitioner.
Respondent No.1 in person.
Mr. J.P. Yagnik, A.P.P. for State.
CORAM:- A.M.KHANWILKAR AND
JUDGMENT RESERVED ON:- DECEMBER 8, 2010.
JUDGMENT PRONOUNCED ON:- JANUARY 24, 2011.
JUDGMENT (Per A.M. Khanwilkar, J.) :
1. I have gone through the judgment prepared by my esteemed Brother, Hon. Bhangale, J., but for the reasons which I shall shortly indicate, I am unable to agree with his erudite opinion on the points in issue. Consequently, I do not also agree with the proposed final decision as, in my opinion, the present writ petition ought to succeed.
2. The principal question which arises for our consideration in this case is: whether naming any person as suspect in the police report/charge-sheet filed under Section 173(2) and more so under Section 173(8) of the Criminal Procedure Code (hereinafter referred to as the 'Cr.P.C.' or 'Code') is just, fair, proper and is in consonance with the procedure established by law? The incidental question is: whether on account of naming of any person as suspect in the police report/charge-sheet, it has the inevitable effect of sullying the reputation of that person irrespective of the nature of pending criminal action?
3. The broad facts which have given rise to filing of the present Petition and relevant for deciding the matter in issue can be stated as follows:
a) The Anti-corruption Bureau, Mumbai registered First Information Report (`F.I.R.') on 20th June, 2002, on the complaint of the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (M.P.S.C.). Considering the gravity of the allegations, the investigation was entrusted to high Official of the Maharashtra Police Force. Two practicing Advocates of this Court who had occasion to appear in the M.P.S.C. Examination held in the year 1999 filed Writ Petition in this Court, being Writ Peti- tion No.482 of 2003, asserting that after registration of the F.I.R., the investigation of the case was entrusted to Mr.Sudhakar B. Pujari (Respondent No.1 herein). It was their case that during the course of investigation, Mr.S.B.Pujari had collected material and was in the process of arresting Smt. Sayalee Joshi and others and at that time, he was transferred on 31st January, 2003. It was their case that Respondent No.1 was transferred to scuttle the investigation. As a result, they filed Petition - which was treated as Public Interest Litigation - praying for Writ of Mandamus to direct the State of Maharashtra and its concerned Officials that the investigation made by Respondent No.1 herein be 4 wp314309
ordered to be kept in safe custody with the Special Court (Anti Corruption Court) in the City Civil and Sessions Court and the order transferring him dated 31st January, 2003 be quashed. The said Writ Petition was eventually disposed of on July 5, 2006 upon filing of the charge-sheet and the nine supplementary charge-sheets against 29 accused persons. The Court was of the opinion that no further monitoring was necessary by this Court.
b) The first police report under Section 173(2) of the Cr.P.C., which was submitted by the Respondent No.1 as Investigating Officer before the Special Court was dated 22nd June, 2004. Thereafter, he filed successive supplementary police reports/charge-sheets on the basis of further investigation, in exercise of powers under Section 173(8) of the Cr.P.C. As aforesaid, in all eight police reports/charge-sheets came to be filed from time to time before filing of the final police report/charge- sheet dated 31st March, 2006 before the Special Court. c) It is not in dispute that the Petitioner had filed another Writ Petition on the earlier occasion for quashing of the investigation pursued against him, which, however, came to be disposed of as infructuous consequent to filing of the 6th further Police Report/charge 5 wp314309
sheet wherein he was named as suspect. The said order dated 31st March, 2008, reads thus:-
"We understand that charge sheet has been filed and learned counsel for the Petitioner submits that even in the charge sheet he is not shown as accused but only shown as suspect. Since the charge sheet is not challenged before us, this Petition has become infructuous, which is accordingly dismissed."
Taking clue from the observations in the above order, the petitioner has filed the present Writ Petition for reliefs, which are independent and necessitated due to developments after the institution of the previous Writ Petition. The reliefs claimed in the present Writ Petition are as follows:-
"a. Pass an order and/or direction calling for the records of the case C.R. No.33 of 2002 and upon
examining the legality and propriety of the same, issue a Writ of certiorari or any other similar writ, quashing the name of the petitioner, wherever it is shown as suspect in the supplementary charge
sheets starting from charge sheet no 6 from as
against the petitioner herein.
b. Pass any such other order and/or direction in the interest of justice in the light of the present facts." 6 wp314309
d) It is common ground that the name of the Petitioner did not appear as accused either in the F.I.R. or the police reports filed by the Investigating Officer from time to time until the 5th supplementary police report/charge-sheet. In fact, the Petitioner was shown as one of the prosecution witnesses. For the first time, in the 6th supplementary police report/charge-sheet filed by the Investigating Officer, the name of the Petitioner was shown in the column of suspect. That description of the Petitioner continued to appear in all the subsequent supplementary police reports/charge-sheet, including in the Final Police Report/Charge-sheet dated 31st March, 2006. Resultantly, the present petition has been filed to question the said entries.
4. In this backdrop, two fold grievance has been made by the Petitioner in the present Petition. In the first place, it is asserted that once the final police report/charge-sheet has been filed before the Special Court, that presupposes that the investigation of the case is complete. If so, the question of describing the Petitioner as suspect accused does not arise. In that, the description in the charge-sheet can be only that of the accused who are sent for trial or of absconding accused and at best, of unknown accused. No other description, much less, of suspect accused, is envisaged by the Scheme of the provisions 7 wp314309
of the Cr.P.C. According to the Petitioner, describing him as suspect accused has resulted in immense loss of his reputation and more so, because of the nature of the pending criminal case pertaining to M.P.S.C. Paper Scam, which received huge media coverage.
5. The other facet of the grievance of the Petitioner, is that, his name has been inserted in the 6th further police report/charge-sheet filed by the Respondent No.1, before the Special Court as Investigating Officer as suspect, out of personal vendetta since the Petitioner refused to toe the line of the Respondent No.1. The circumstances on the basis of which such inference is deduced by the Petitioner have been elaborated in the present Writ Petition. Considering the said allegations, this Court allowed the impleadment application filed by the Respondent No.1. The Respondent No.1, after being impleaded, has filed detailed affidavit to counter the allegations made against him of personal bias. In the reply affidavit filed by the Respondent No.1, he has not only questioned the intentions of Shri Sanjay Govind Parande, Additional Superintendent of Police (Head Quarters), Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) who has filed reply affidavit for and on behalf of Respondent Nos.2 and 3, but has also asserted that there was material against Petitioner disclosing his likelihood of involvement in the 8 wp314309
commission of the alleged offence. In his affidavit, the Respondent No. 1 has adverted to the said material/circumstances. It is on that assertion, the Respondent No.1 has stated that he was justified in naming the Petitioner as suspect accused. Besides naming the Petitioner, he has also named other seven persons as suspect accused on the basis of the material gathered during investigation which discloses their likelihood of involvement in the offence.
6. Significantly, the material/circumstances to which reference is made in the reply affidavit by respondent No.1, not only pertain to period prior to the filing of final police report/charge-sheet dated 31st March, 2006, but the tenor of the affidavit clearly admits that the same came to his knowledge as Investigating Officer during the course of investigation and prior to filing of the final police report/charge-sheet dated 31st March, 2006. Further, it is not the case of respondent No.1 that the said material/circumstances were sufficient to show, at least prima facie, that the Petitioner was involved in the crime and is party to the alleged offence. Whereas the same would, at best, point towards the likelihood of involvement of the Petitioner in the commission of the alleged offence. These, to my mind, are crucial 9 wp314309
facts to be borne in mind while considering the challenge of the petitioner.
7. Be that as it may, insofar as affidavit filed on behalf of Respondent Nos.2 and 3 is concerned, it is stated that the Bureau's hierarchy has concluded that there is no material on record to indicate any connection whatsoever of the Petitioner before this Court with the M.P.S.C. scam. It is stated that, that was evident from the copy of the notings dated 11th February, 2004 of the then Director General, ACB, Shri A.K.Agarwal. It is stated that the then Director General had categorically concluded that he did not find any evidence on record to indicate that the Petitioner-Shri Verma was involved in any way in the concerned M.P.S.C. scam. Besides the noting of the then Director General, ACB, reference is made to the stand of the Bureau and its findings on the accusations made by the Investigating Officer (Respondent No.1) from the notings dated 16th June, 2004 made by the subsequent Director General, ACB Shri K.K.Kashyap about his discussions with the then Advocate General of Maharashtra Shri Goolam Vahanwati. Reference is also made to the affidavits filed by subsequent Director Generals namely Shri P.S. Pasricha and Shri J.D.Virkar and also the Supervisory Officer, the then 10 wp314309
Joint Commissioner of Police, ACB, Shri A.P. Dhere. It is then stated that although in terms of the order dated 22nd April, 2003 passed in PIL 482 of 2003 by this Court, the investigation of the case was to be conducted by Respondent No.1 herein (Shri S.B. Pujari), but it was to be conducted under the supervision of Shri A.P. Dhere, Joint Commissioner of Police, ACB. However, the Respondent No.1 herein, blatantly flouted the directions of the Supervisory Officer and instead of replying to the clarifications sought by the Supervisory Officer, went on to make allegations against him. In substance, the affidavit filed by Respondents 2 and 3 supports the stand of the Petitioner before us that even on completion of investigation, there was no material to send the Petitioner for trial as an accused.
8. During the course of hearing, the Counsel for the Petitioner wanted us to probe into the allegations made against Respondent No.1 about falsely naming the Petitioner as suspect accused out of personal vendetta. However, considering the limited relief claimed in the present Writ Petition, I do not think it necessary to dilate on the said aspect. For, the relief claimed in the Petition can be redressed on the basis of the first principle that, in law, it is not open to name someone as suspect in the police report/charge-sheet filed under 11 wp314309
Section 173(2) or 173(8) of the Cr.P.C. In that, the same is the product of culmination of investigation by the Police Officer who files such police report/charge-sheet in Court in respect of the offence in question. The principal purpose of submitting a police report under the aforestated provisions is to send the "accused" for trial.
9. I may also place on record that the Respondent No.1 wanted us to examine the case made out by him in the reply affidavit with regard to the factual matrix. However, for the view that I propose to take, it may not be necessary to enter into the thicket of the said allegations or the counter allegations between the Petitioner against Respondent No.1; and also in the reply affidavit made by the Respondents 2 and 3 against Respondent No.1 or the counter allegations made by Respondent No.1 against the Petitioner or against the affiant of the affidavit filed on behalf of Respondents 2 and 3.
10. To complete the record, I think it apposite to mention that the hearing of Writ Petition was concluded on the 8th of December, 2010. The case was adjourned for pronouncement of judgment. Thereafter, the draft judgment was exchanged between us. Before the matter could be notified for pronouncement of judgment, on 16th 12 wp314309
December, 2010, Respondent No. 1 moved a praecipe, which was taken on board at 3.00 p.m. on that date. Respondent No. 1 submitted that he had come across some relevant documents issued by the Government, Union of India, and also reported decisions, which may be useful to answer the matters in issue. He prayed for time to circulate the same to the Judges. He has then field affidavit sworn on 20th December, 2010, accompanied by Exhibits 'A' to 'F'. In this affidavit, he has, once again, reiterated his stand on factual aspects, as asserted by him in his earlier affidavit. In addition, however, besides placing on record Exhibits 'A' to 'F', he has adverted to series of reported judgments, in particular, to emphasise that the final step in the investigation, viz., the formation of the opinion as to whether or not there is a case to send the accused for trial is to be that of the officer in charge of the police station and the Court cannot dictate the Investigating Officer or interfere with the process of investigation in any manner. Reliance is also placed on judgments which have expounded on the theory of criminal conspiracy. Lastly, he has justified the naming of the petitioner as suspect, which, according to him, is in consonance with the prescribed form of police report. Amongst the exhibits, Exhibit 'C' is a communication dated 13th August, 2004 sent by the Deputy Director (C), Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, to Shri Bhavesh Thakur, I.P.S., 13 wp314309
D.I.G., S.C.R.B., Jharkhand, Ranchi, Circular issued by the Director (S.R.), Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, dated September 21, 2005 to the Chief Secretaries and Administrators of States / Union Territory Administrations, along with the Integrated Investigation Forms (I.I.Fs.), i.e., Form of First Information Report (I.I.F.-I), Crime Details Form (I.I.F.-II), Arrest/Court Surrender Form (I.I.F.-III), Property Search & Seizure Form (I.I.F.-IV), Final Form/Report (I.I.F.-V), Court Disposal Form (I.I.F.-VI) and Result of Appeal Form (I.I.F.-VII), are also appended thereto.
11. The real question is: What is the distinction between the term 'suspect' and an 'accused' known to Criminal Jurisprudence? The other principal question is: What is the purpose of filing police report under Sections 170 read with 173(2) and 173(8) of the Code? Depending on the answers to the above questions, the justness and appropriateness of mentioning the name of a person as suspect in the police report will have to be understood.
12. To address the points in issue, in the first place, I shall refer to the relevant provisions of the Cr.P.C. Section 154 of the Cr.P.C. envisages that every information relating to the commission of 14 wp314309
a cognizable offence, if given to an Officer in charge of a Police Station, the substance thereof is required to be entered in a book kept for that purpose. Once such information is recorded and it discloses cognizable offence, the officer-in-charge of a Police Station by virtue of Section 156 of the Cr.P.C. is obliged to investigate the same. That he can do without the order of a Magistrate. While investigating such cognizable case, he can exercise powers which a Court having jurisdiction over the local area within the limits of such Police Station will have power to inquire into or try under the provisions of Chapter XIII. We need not refer to the other provisions of the Cr.P.C. as to the manner in which the investigation ought to proceed as that is not relevant for deciding the present case. Suffice it to observe that the investigation under Chapter XII has to be completed by the Investigating Officer without unnecessary delay. That is the mandate of Section 173(1) of the Cr.P.C. In the event, after investigation, it appears to the officer in-charge of the police station that there is sufficient evidence or reasonable ground against the accused, he is obliged to forward the accused under custody to a Magistrate empowered to take cognizance of the offence upon a police report and to try the case or commit him for trial, or, if the offence is bailable and the accused is able to give security, shall take security from him for his 15 wp314309
appearance before such Magistrate on a date fixed for his case from day-to-day before such Magistrate, until otherwise directed. This is the requirement of Section 170 of the Cr.P.C. Further, sub-section (2) of Section 173 of the Cr.P.C. provides that as soon as the investigation is completed, the Officer in-charge of the Police Station is obliged to forward to a Magistrate empowered to take cognizance of offence on a police report, report containing specified information. Sub-section (2) which is of some relevance for answering the controversy, reads thus: "173. Report of Police Officer on completion of
(2) (i) As soon as it is completed, the officer in charge of the police station shall forward to a Magistrate empowered to take cognizance of the offence on a police report, a report in the form prescribed by the State Government, stating-
(a) the names of the parties;
(b) the nature of the information;
(c) the names of the persons who appear to be
acquainted with the circumstances of the case;
(d) whether any offence appears to have been
committed and, if so, by whom;
(e) whether the accused has been arrested;
(f) whether he has been released on his bond and, if so, whether with or without sureties;
(g) whether he has been forwarded in custody under section 170;
[(h) whether the report of medical examination of the woman has been attached where investigation relates to an offence under sections 376, 376-A, 376-B, 376-C or 376-D of the Indian Penal Code(45 of 1860).]
(ii) The officer shall also communicate, in such manner as may be prescribed by the State Government, the action taken by him, to the person, if any, by whom the information relating to the commission of the offence was first given."
From the plain language of sub-section (2), it is amply clear as to what should be the contents of the report of police officer. In that, it is provided that the report should be in the form prescribed by the State Government "stating" the details referred to therein. In other words, the contents of the report have been spelt out by the Legislature itself, and what is left to be prescribed by the State Government is only the form of the contents so specified. For better understanding of the matter in issue, one cannot overlook the purpose, for which the report of police officer under Section 170 read with 173(2) and 173(8) is required to be filed in the concerned Court. The purpose is to record 17 wp314309
the opinion of the Investigating Officer upon culmination of the investigation so as to identify the person who, in his view, should be sent for trial as an accused in relation to the offence investigated by him. He cannot send the suspect for a trial. Keeping this purpose in mind, the contents of the police report specified by the Legislature under Section 173(2) will have to be analysed and understood. Insofar as clause (a) of Section 173(2)(i), that refers to the names of the parties. The term 'parties' has not been defined in the Cr.P.C. The dictionary meaning of the term 'parties' would mean "the persons who take part in the performance of any act, or who are directly interested in any affair, contract, or conveyance, or who are actively concerned in the prosecution and defense of any legal proceeding". (See Black's Law Dictionary - Sixth Edition.) In the same dictionary, the term "party to be charged" has been defined as - a phrase used in the statute of frauds, meaning the party against whom the contract is sought to be enforced; the party to be charged in the action - that is, the defendant. Thus, a suspect cannot be covered by the term "parties" appearing in clause (a). Clause (b) provides for the nature of the information. Clause (c) enables the Investigating Officer to mention the names of the persons who appear to be acquainted with the circumstances of the case. If a person were to be named in the context of requirement of clause (c), 18 wp314309
the position would be entirely different, but this clause cannot come to the aid of the Investigating Officer to name someone as suspect. Insofar as clause (d) is concerned, it requires the Investigating Officer to specify as to whether any offence appears to have been committed, and, if so, by whom. The expression 'by whom' appearing in Section 173(2)(d) itself is an indication that the name of person who has committed the offence, viz., the accused, who needs to be sent for trial, ought to be mentioned. This interpretation is inevitable in the context of the purpose for which police report is required to be filed by the Investigating Officer without unnecessary delay. The said expression 'by whom' will have to be interpreted ejusdem generis and the setting in which it appears. As per this clause, therefore, the Investigating Officer has to identify the person who should be, and has been, named as accused to be sent for trial. The Investigating Officer can name the person as having committed the offence only if he has firm information to show, at least prima facie, that the person is involved in the crime and has committed the offence. In absence of sufficient material in that behalf, the information or evidence gathered by the Investigating Officer would be only in the realm of pointing towards the person's likelihood of commission of an offence. Such person cannot be sent for trial by the Investigating Officer, much less as an accused. As 19 wp314309
aforesaid, the purpose of the police report is to name the person against whom the investigating agency has sufficient material to show, at least prima facie, that he has committed offence as accused to be sent for trial. Clause (e) of the same provision obliges the Investigating Officer to disclose in his report as to whether the accused has been arrested. We cannot gloss over the crucial fact that the Legislature has consciously used the expression 'accused' throughout Section 170 as well as Section 173. Further, clause (d), which precedes clause (e), refers to disclosure by the Investigating Officer of the name of the person, who, in his view, has committed the offence in question; the purpose of which is, indeed, to send that person for trial before the Court of competent jurisdiction. Clauses (f) and (g) also refer to person who would be covered by term 'accused' appearing in the preceding clauses. It is too elementary that the person who is only a suspect, in the opinion of the Investigating Officer, cannot be sent for trial as an accused by him.
13. The police report so submitted is commonly known as a charge-sheet. Indeed, the form of police report/charge-sheet can be prescribed by the State Government. Notably, the term 'prescribed' has been defined in Section 2(t) of the Cr.P.C. to mean prescribed by Rules 20 wp314309 made under the Code. However, the contents of the said report/charge- sheet have been clearly spelt out in sub-section (2) itself. No other information besides the said information need be provided in the police report/charge-sheet. The legal position as to what should be the contents of the final report has been expounded by the Constitution Bench of the Apex Court in the case of K.Veeraswami vs. Union of India & Ors. reported in (1991) 3 SCC 655. It will be useful to reproduce paragraph 76 of the said decision which reads thus: "76. The charge sheet is nothing but a final report of police officer under Section 173(2) of the CrPC. The Section 173(2) provides that on completion of the investigation the police officer investigating into a cognizable offence shall submit a report. The report must be in the form prescribed by the State Government and stating therein (a) the names of the parties; (b) the nature of the information; (c) the names of the persons who appear to be acquainted with the circumstances of the case; (d) whether any offence appears to have been committed and, if so, by whom (e) whether the accused has been arrested; (f) whether he had been released on his bond and, if so, whether with or without sureties; and (g) whether he has been forwarded in custody under Section 170. As observed by this Court in Satya Narain Musadi v. State of Bihar - (1980) 3 SCC 152, 157 : 1980 SCC (Cri.) 660 that the statutory requirement of the report under Section 173(2) would be complied with if the various details prescribed therein are included in the report. This report is an intimation to the magistrate that upon investigation into a cognizable offence the investigating officer has been able to procure sufficient evidence for the Court to inquire into the offence and the necessary information is being sent to the Court. In fact, the report under Section 173(2) purports to be an opinion of the Investigating Officer that as far as he is concerned he has been able to procure sufficient material for the trial of the accused by the Court. The report is complete if it is accompanied with all the documents and statements of witnesses as required by Section 175(5). Nothing more need be stated in the report of the Investigating Officer. It 21 wp314309
is also not necessary that all the details of the offence must be stated. The details of the offence are required to be proved to bring home the guilt to the accused at a later stage i.e. in the course of the trial of the case by adducing acceptable evidence." (emphasis supplied)
14. Thus, the report under Section 173(2) is an intimation cum opinion of the Investigating Officer submitted to the Magistrate. The Magistrate is apprised of the fact that investigation into a cognizable offence has been undertaken. Further, during such investigation he (the Investigating Officer) has been able to procure "sufficient material" referred to therein for the trial of the named accused by the Court. Besides, the stated evidence was sufficient for the Court to take cognizance of the offence. Nothing more need be stated in the said report. To put it differently, the purpose of the report under Section 173(2) or 173(8) and more so the final report is to present the opinion of the Investigating Officer that as far as he is concerned, he has completed the investigation and has nothing more to contribute; and that the material gathered by him is "sufficient material for the trial of the named accused" by the Court. The Court takes cognizance of the offence on the basis of this report and proceeds against the persons so named as accused by the Investigating Officer. Notably, the trial can be of the accused and not of any suspect. A priori, in my view, since the 22 wp314309
purpose of the report under Section 173(2) is to ignite a trial only against the accused-against whom sufficient material has been gathered during the investigation to show his involvement in the crime, in the scheme of things, naming any one as suspect, is neither postulated by Section 173(2) or 173(8) nor would be just and fair.
14. At the hearing, respondent No.1 invited our attention to a Notification issued by the State of Maharashtra bearing No.COM. 0195/POL.4/1//POL.4 dated 18th March, 1997. The same reads thus:- "GOVERNMENT OF MAHARASHTRA
MANUALS:- BOMBAY POLICE MANUAL RULE NO.
113 & 114
VOLUME III - AMNEDMMENTS TO
CERTAIN FORMS - ORDERS
No.COM.0195/POL.4/1/POL.4 Dtd. 18th March, 1997 Read the following
Letter from DGP, Maharashtra State, Mumbai No.
DGP/241/12AAA/96 dtd. 21.8.96 & D.O. letter from Addl. Director General of Police CID (Crime) M.S., Pune. No. SCRB/7 INTEG/101/96 dtd. 11.9.96
The Government of India accepted the
recommendations of the National Police Commission - 1977 Station level should fit into a scheme of Computerised maintenance of Data/Information at the State and National levels. Accordingly the National Crime Records Bureau, with the concurrence of the Ministry of Law and Justice and 23 wp314309 the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India recommended a set of 7 new Forms for introduction at the Police Station level, uniformly in all the States / UT's of India with the following objectives:-
(i) Field Offices and Police Station Staff will not be required to fill up the Computer Input Forms separately which involves additional scriptory work for them;
(ii) Data of good quality will be captured at source without delay;
(iii) It will bring about uniformity in standards of investigation and procedure;
(iv) It will ensure better co-ordination in respect of Lost and Recovered numbered / identifiable properties and (v) It will help in co-ordinating persons arrested at one place and wanted at another.
2. The Government of India also advised the State Government to introduce the 7 terms for effective functioning of the Crime Criminal Information System. The Director General of Police, Mumbai and
the Additional Director General of Police, CID (Crime), Maharashtra State Pune in his letter mentioned above has submitted the proposal for replacement of existing forms contained in the Bombay Police Manual Volume III Rule No. 113 and No.114 Standard Form No. C.P.C. 14.
3. Now therefore Government of Maharashtra in exercise of powers conferred on it hereby directs that under noted forms shall be introduced in the working of Maharashtra State Police from the date of issue of this Order. They shall be on printed paper of the quality on which other Police Forms are presently printed.
SR.NO. NAME OF THE FORM
(i) FIRST INFORMATION REPORT
(ii) CRIME DETAIL FORM
(iii) ARREST/COURT SURRENDER MEMO
(iv) PROEPRTY SEIZURE MEMO
(v) FINAL REPORT FORM
(vi) COURT DISPOSAL MEMO FORM
(vii) RESULT OF APPEAL FORM
With the adoption of these forms existing
FIR Form (U/S 154 CRPC), Court Disposal Form and Result of Appeal Form (U/S 173 CRPC) shall become obsolete.
BY ORDER AND IN THE NAME OF THE GOVERNOR
OR MAHARASHTRA STATE.
Deputy Secretary to the Government of Maharashtra Home Department"
In the first place, this notification and the accompanying documents (forms) are not prescribed by Rules made under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, as required by Section 2(t) thereof as such. Further, even if it were to be treated as administrative instructions issued in absence of the Rules on the subject, the same cannot transgress the specifications of Police Report spelt out by the legislature under Section 173(2) of the Code. Assuming that the same were to be considered, the Government prescribed seven different forms referred to in paragraph three of the notification. The purpose of the said forms is primarily in compliance with the recommendations of the National Police Commission, 1977, pertaining to uniform maintenance of crime records at the police station level, which should fit into a scheme of computerised maintenance of data / information at the State and National levels. The National Crime Records Bureau, with the 25 wp314309
concurrence of the Ministry of Law and Justice and the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, therefore, recommended seven set of new forms for introduction at the police station level uniformly in all the States and Union Territories of India. The forms may serve dual purpose of maintenance of crime records at the police station level. The wealth of information captured in the crime records at the police stations across the country has no relevance to the specific trial of the accused in a given offence. The report envisaged by Section 173(2) of the Code is for the specific purpose of submitting opinion of the Investigating Officer as to who should be sent for trial as an accused. In other words, the general information collated at the police station level for maintenance of crime records can have no bearing on the submission of the information in the police report envisaged under Section 173(2) or 173(8), which is specific to the named accused to be sent for trial. Whereas, a person can be sent for trial as an accused by the Investigating Officer, only if he were to be convinced that the material gathered by him during investigation of the offence discloses the involvement of the person in the commission of the offence. If the material collected by the Investigating Officer merely indicates the likelihood of involvement of the person, such person cannot be named as an accused to be sent for trial. The latter, only being a suspect, 26 wp314309
cannot be sent for trial by the Investigating Officer. A suspect has no means to defend himself during the trial and thus, would be condemned unheard, much less a fair trial. Notably, as per the scheme of provisions of the Code, a suspect cannot approach the concerned Court for discharge, as he is not an accused sent for trial. For, the provisions of the Code enable only the named or charge sheeted "accused" or against whom charges are framed by the Court to seek discharge. The real test is: Whether it is open to a person named as suspect in the charge sheet to move the trial Court for discharge? If the answer is no, as I am inclined to hold, it will be naive to suggest that the person should be still named as suspect in the police report submitted to the Court. Take a case where the sole accused named in the police report were to be discharged by the trial Court. Can, in such a case, the Court continue with the trial (in absence of any named accused) on the assumption that it has already taken cognizance of the offence and the Investigating Officer, in his police report filed under Section 173(2) or 173(8), has additionally mentioned the name of a person as suspect? Indubitably, there can be no trial against a suspect. The trial is only against the persons named as "accused" in the police 27 wp314309
report or against whom charges have been framed by the Court after taking cognizance of the offence.
15. Besides the above notification, which was made over to us during the hearing, in the additional affidavit filed by respondent No. 1 dated 20th December, 2010, he has produced communication sent by the Deputy Director (C), Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, to the DIG, S.C.R.B., Jharkhand, Ranchi, dated 13th August, 2004 and Circular issued by the Director (SR) to the Chief Secretaries and Administrators of all States / UT Administrations, dated September 21, 2005 and the accompanying Integrated Investigation Forms. The letter dated 13th August, 2004 reads thus:- " GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
DEPUTY DIRECTOR(C) MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS
NATIONAL CRIME RECORDS BUREAU
Tel.: 26196026 East Block-VII, R.K. Puram New Delhi - 110066
D.O. No.106/1/2001/IIF/CR/NCRB the 13th August, 2004 Dear Shri Bhavesh Thakur,
Please refer to your letter No. 228/SCRB dated
14.07.2004 regarding need for a review of Integrated Investigation Forms (IIFs). The DGsP / IGsP conference 28 wp314309
2003 had recommended to form a committee to review the need for Integrated Investigation Forms.
Though the set of IIFs appears to be bulky but only the relevant forms need to be filled up at different point of time as the case progresses and a large number of parameters are optional. These forms are systematic and serve as a checklist for an I.O. who may miss out vital information in absence of these forms. The advantages are manifold. The IIFs were devised in 1986 by the Task Force
constituted by MHA, Govt. of India. Later, it was followed with lot of deliberations and actual participation of State police officers / field officers and approved with the concurrence of Ministry of Law & Justice and the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. All the feedbacks received from States / UTs have been incorporated. The IIFs have been notified and implemented by all the States and UTs. The IIFs have adequate legal backing as these are meant to be used at the Police Station level and Courts, uniformly in India. Thus, the legal, professional and statistical requirements can be met by one time effort of investigating the case using IIFs.
During the meeting of Director Generals of Police and Home Secretaries of 10 States at NCRB, New Delhi on 05.06.2003, the Union Home Secretary desired that all cases, whether of Inter-State or Inter-District ramification, must be computerized.
Thus it is advisable that all the crimes should be computerized at the District level. The data of cases of inter-District ramification will be thresholded to the State level (SCRB) while the data of Inter-State ramification will be thresholded to the National level (NCRB).
With kind regards,
Shri Bhavesh Thakur, IPS
In addition, reliance is placed on a circular. The Circular dated September 21, 2005 reads thus:-
" No. 15011/301/2005-OCC
Government of India
Ministry of Home Affairs
22 SEP 2005
Dated: September 21, 2005
The Chief Secretaries and Administrators
of all States/UT Administrations.
Subject: Declaration of:- (I) Crime Criminal Information System (CCIS), Organised Crime Intelligence
System (OCIS) and Crime in India (CII)
databases as National Databases and (II) 7
Integrated Investigation Forms (IIFs), Talash
Form under CCIS, 3 Forms under OCIS and 2
forms under Crime in India (CII) as National
Crime Reporting Forms (NCRFs).
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) was
constituted in 1986 inter alia to function as a clearing house of information on crime and criminals including those operating at National and International levels so as to assist the investigators and others in linking crimes to their perpetrators. NCRB was also mandated to store, coordinate and disseminate information on Inter-state and international criminals from and to respective States and national investigating agencies etc. and to collect and process crime statistics at the National level.
2. The Crime Criminal Information System (CCIS) was conceived and developed as a National Database on crime and criminals to facilitate sharing of information among 30 wp314309
various State Police forces and other Law Enforcement Agencies in the country.
3. A National Statistical Crime Database, namely Crime in India (CII) is in existence since 1953.
4. In pursuance of the recommendations of Group of Ministers on reforming the National Security System, NCRB has been identified as the nodal agency in the Central Government to maintain a database on the activities of organized crime syndicates. State Governments and UT Administrations were also advised to create/maintain similar databases and to use the same format developed by NCRB to enable sharing of information amongst States and Centre.
5. It was noticed that while most of the States are using CCIS, OCIS and CII software, some of the States have developed different applications. Also a separate application, Common Integrated Police Application (CIPA), is under development to capture information on crimes and criminals at the Police Station level.
6. To ensure that all States and UT Administrations are able to make effective use of information on crimes and criminals with the help of information technology, following decisions have been taken:
I) National Crime Databases: The Crime Criminal Information System (CCIS), Organised Crime Intelligence System (OCIS) and Crime in India (CII) databases are declared as National Databases.
II) National Crime Reporting Forms: To enable States/UT Administrations to submit required information to the National Crime databases, Standard Crime Reporting Forms are necessary. The following forms developed after wide consultations with the States are declared as the National Crime Reporting Forms:
A) Crime Criminal Information System (CCIS):
i) First Information Report Form (IIF-1)
ii) Crime Detail Form (IIF-2)
iii) Property Seizure Memo (IIF-3)
iv) Arrest/Court Surrender Memo (IIF-4)
v) Final Form/Report (IIF-5)
vi) Court Disposal Memo (IIF-6)
vii) Result of Appeal (IIF-7)
viii) Talash Form
ix) Criminal Profile - Organised gang
B) Organized Crime Intelligence System
x) Gang Profile Form (Form-I)
xi) Gang/Organization Criminal Activity Details (Form-2)
xii) Member Details (Form-3)
Information fed in CCIS forms will be imported to OCIS through a bridge software already developed by NCRB. C) Crime in India (CII):
xiii) Monthly Crime Statistics Forms
xiv) Crime in India Forms
III) Responsibilities of NCRB:
i) To properly maintain and secure these databases; ii) To meet the information needs of the States based on these databases; and
iii) To upgrade these databases from time to time. IV) Responsibility of States:
i) To make crime data available to the National Databases in CCIS/OCIS/CII formats on regular basis; ii) To develop a bridge software if the State(s) is using technology platform or application different from National Databases (Database scheme will be provided by NCRB to enable development of bridge software); and
iii) To provide complete information not later than 15 days of capturing the information.
V) Data Standards: National Crime Code Book in CCIS has standardized the data sets to be used by all States. These data sets will be XML enabled for information exchange.
NCRB has already web and XML enabled reports on
the National Databases (CCIS), to facilitate user friendly exchange of information.
VI) Security Standards: NCRB will provide e-security standards and make the States/UT Administrations/Agencies aware of the same to ensure safety of these Important National Crime Databases.
7. The State Governments/UT Administrations are requested to take necessary measures to regularly update and share these National Databases for their effective use towards control of crime and maintenance of public order. Yours faithfully,
Copy forwarded for information and necessary action to:
1. Director, Central Bureau of Investigation, New Delhi
2. Director, National Crime Records Bureau, New Delhi
3. All Ministries/Departments of the Government of India
4. Director, Intelligence Bureau
5. Secretary, RAW
6. Heads of CPOs
Insofar as these new documents (forms) which are produced along with the additional affidavit are concerned, the same are no different than the ones referred to at the time of hearing. Even the new forms are prepared so as to capture the information of crimes and criminals at the police station level throughout the country. Besides, the same are not prescribed by the Rules framed under the Code. Moreover, the general information to be collected at the police station level can be of no use 33 wp314309
for submitting the information and details to be furnished by the Investigating Officer in the police report under Section 173(2) of the Code. The said report is the basis for taking cognizance of the offence by the concerned Court and to proceed with the trial against the person named as accused therein.
17. Insofar as the form of First Information Report as required under Section 154 of the Cr.P.C. is concerned, amongst others, it provides for furnishing information regarding the details of known/suspect/unknown accused with full particulars. This description, however, is on the basis of information provided to the Police Official by the complainant. At this stage, in a given case, the complainant may not be certain about the real accused but may be only suspecting some person responsible for the situation. There is nothing wrong if the Police Official were to take notice even of such suspicion expressed by the Complainant. Therefore, the description of the person as suspect in the F.I.R. may be justified, as the police official is obliged to record the information in the register, as far as possible, accurate version of the complainant. It is, however, not unknown that after completion of the investigation on the basis of information given by the complainant, the Investigating Officer may send only one or more persons as accused to 34 wp314309
trial by filing police report / charge sheet against them out of the persons named by the complainant.
18. Reverting to the Form (I.I.F.-V) of Final Report Form - which is the police report/charge-sheet to be filed under Section 173(2) of the Cr.P.C., however, also provides for the particulars of accused persons-not charge-sheeted (suspect). Item 11 of the prescribed form of police report requires disclosure of particulars of accused persons charge-sheeted. Item 12 of the said form requires disclosure of particulars of person who is a suspect. In the circumstances, the Respondent No.1, in the sixth supplementary report onwards filed under Section 173(8) of the Cr.P.C., besides disclosing the particulars of accused persons charge-sheeted must have also disclosed the particulars of persons - not charge-sheeted (suspect). In the said column, the name of the Petitioner is found. At the same time, the fact that Respondent No.1 himself continued to describe the Petitioner as suspect, presupposes that even he was fully convinced that the material gathered by him until the filing of the Final Police Report dated 31st March, 2006, was not sufficient to disclose the complicity of the petitioner in the commission of the offence so as to send him for trial. If it did disclose, no reason is forthcoming as to why the 35 wp314309
respondent No. 1 failed to name the petitioner as an accused along with other accused sent for trial.
19. Here I may add that the role and duty of the Investigating Officer during the stage of the investigation and the role and duty of the Court of taking cognizance on the basis of the police report submitted by the Investigating Officer until the framing of the charge, even though materially different, cannot be the basis to answer the question which arises for consideration in this case; to wit, what is the purpose of the police report, and, in the context of that purpose, what should be the contents thereof?
20. It is well established position that even after filing of the police report, it is open to the Investigating Officer to resort to further investigation, including against a suspect. That option can be effectuated by exercising power under Section 173(8) of the Code. Further, it is also open to him to disclose the relevant material / evidence during the trial before the Court, on the basis of which, person other than the named accused in the police report / charge sheet can be additionally named as accused by the Court under Section 319 of the Code for being tried along with the other accused. The fact that the 36 wp314309
concerned Court has ample power to accept the police report as submitted by the Investigating Officer as it is, or to issue other appropriate directions, including of permitting further investigation to file supplementary police report, does not mean that the name of a person ought to be mentioned as a suspect in the police report. Naming a person as a suspect in any criminal action will have the inevitable effect of abridging his fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. I shall advert to this aspect a little later.
21. The moot question is: whether the requirement of mentioning the names and particulars of suspect in the police report / charge-sheet, is just, fair, proper and known to procedure established by law? As is found earlier, Section 173(2) or 173(8) does not postulate naming of a person as suspect in the police report. However, the practice of naming of person as a suspect in the police report has evolved amongst others on the basis of the specifications in Form I.I.F.-V referred to above. One cannot gloss over the marked distinction between a suspect and an accused as known to Criminal Jurisprudence. For, a suspect is a person against whom evidence and circumstances point towards the "likelihood" of being involved in the commission of an offence. Whereas, an accused is a person against 37 wp314309
whom the Investigating agency has "sufficient material" to show, at least prima facie, that he is "involved in the crime and has committed an offence" punishable under the relevant provisions of law. As aforesaid, the police report/charge-sheet is the culmination of investigation done by the Investigating Officer on the basis of the F.I.R. It is the mirror of the material gathered by him during the investigation. On the basis of such material, the Investigating Officer forms his opinion that particular person named as accused should be sent for trial as his complicity in the commission of the crime is disclosed from the material so collected by him. If the material collected is not sufficient against particular person, amongst the several persons named by the Complainant as offenders, Section 169 of the Cr.P.C. obligates the Investigating Officer to release such person on his executing a bond with or without sureties and to appear, if and when so required, before a Magistrate empowered to take cognizance of an offence on a police report and to try him as an accused and commit him for trial. Obviously, this action under Section 169 is resorted to before filing of police report in the concerned Court under Section 170 read with 173(2) of the Cr.P.C. In cases where no sufficient material could be gathered by the Investigating Officer, it is open to him to invite classification of the said cognizable case as prescribed in the Criminal 38 wp314309
Manual, such as Class `A' cases; Class `B' cases and Class `C' cases. The said class of cases are defined in Rule 24(5) of the Manual in Chapter I as follows :
"24(5) The criminal cases should be classified as follows:- Class `A' cases.- The cases which are (i) `TRUE' and (ii) wherein an accused is tried and in the absence of conclusive evidence, is acquitted.
Class `B' cases.- Wherein no offence has been committed at all either by the accused or by any one else, but wherein the complaint is found to be "false and maliciously false". Class `C' cases.- Wherein no offence has been committed at all either by the accused or by any one else, but wherein the case is found to be "neither true nor false" or "false but not maliciously false."
22. Be that as it may, when the report of Police Officer is filed under Section 173(2), that presupposes that the investigation is complete or in any case, partially complete to the extent justifying the filing of the police report under Section 173(2). The purpose of filing police report is essentially to give intimation to the concerned Court that in the opinion of the Investigating Officer, there is sufficient evidence or reasonable ground to send the person named by him as accused for trial. It is on the basis of this report the competent Court takes cognizance of the offence referred to therein. Indeed, even after the Court has taken cognizance, it is open to the Investigating Officer 39 wp314309
to undertake further investigation on complying the requirements of Section 173(8) of the Cr.P.C. and then file supplementary police report. However, at some point of time, when the investigation reaches the dead end or is completed, the Police Officer has no option but to file a Final Police Report. The filing of such Supplementary or Final Police Report/charge-sheet under Section 173(2) and/or Section 173(8), presupposes that the Investigating Officer has nothing more to contribute and has completed the investigation. If the material referred to therein discloses the involvement of the person named by the complainant or otherwise, the Investigating Officer has a bounden duty to name such person as accused, being convinced that such person should be sent for trial. Once a police report is filed and cognizance is taken by the concerned Court, the trial proceeds as against the persons named as accused in the charge-sheet or persons who are charge- sheeted by the Investigating Officer. There can be no trial of a person on the assumption that he is a suspect. In absence of material to show the involvement of a person in the crime and having committed the alleged offence, the Investigating Officer cannot be allowed to "persecute" such person by describing him as suspect in the Final Police Report/charge-sheet filed under Section 173(2) or Section 173(8) of the Cr.P.C., as the case may be. It would be another matter if 40 wp314309
the further investigation was to take place and additional material is gathered which would show the involvement of such person who was not originally named in the police report/charge-sheet already filed before the concerned Court, so as to send that person for trial as an accused in terms of the supplementary police report/charge-sheet to be tried along with other accused.
23. As is noticed earlier, the decision of the Apex Court in the case of K.Veeraswami (supra) has expounded that there is no need to record any other detail in the police report/charge-sheet filed under Section 173(2) of the Cr.P.C. except the ones mentioned therein. The same are restated in the said decision. Besides, it will be useful to refer to the observations of the Division Bench of this Court in the case of Smt.Rajni Vishram Patil vs. Central Bureau of Investigation & Anr. reported in 2009 All MR (Cri.) 3262, which reads thus: "42. There is a fine distinction in law between a suspect and an accused. A suspect is a person against whom evidence and circumstances point towards the likelihood of a commission of an offence. An accused is a person against whom the investigating agency has sufficient material to show, at least prima facie, that he is involved in the crime and has committed an offence punishable under the provisions of the IPC. The Wednesbury principle has often been applied by 41 wp314309
courts in civil and/or writ jurisprudence. In Holgate Mohammed Vs. Duke, ((1984) 1 AC 437), the House
of Lords considered various aspects of criminal
investigation and tested them on the touchstone of the Wednesbury principle. It was held thus-
".... Lord Green M.R. in Associated Provincial
Picture Houses Ltd. v. Wednesbury
Corporation (1948 1 K.B. 223), that have
become too familiar to call for repetitious
citation. The Wednesbury principles, as they
are usually referred to, are applicable to
determining the lawfulness of the exercise of
the statutory discretion of a constable under
Section 2(4) of the Criminal Law Act 1967, not
only in proceedings for judicial review but also for the purpose of founding a cause of action at common law for damages for that species of
trespass to the person known as false
imprisonment, for which the action in the
instant case is brought.
The first of the Wednesbury principles is that
the discretion must be exercised in good faith.
The judge in the county court expressly found
that Detective Constable Offin in effecting the
initial arrest acted in good faith. He thought that he was making a proper use of his power of
arrest. So his exercise of that power by arresting Mrs. Holgate Mohammed was lawful, unless it
can be shown to have been "unreasonable"
under Wednesbury principles, of which the
principle that is germane to the instant case is: "He [sc. the exerciser of the discretion] must
exclude from his consideration matters which
are irrelevant to what he has to consider."
As Lord Devlin, speaking for the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Hussien Vs. Chong Fook
Kam, (1970) A.C. 942, 948, said:
42 wp314309 "Suspicion in its ordinary meaning is a state of conjecture or surmise where proof is lacking: `I suspect but I cannot prove.' Suspicion arises at or near the starting - point of an investigation of which the obtaining of prima facie proof is the
end. When such proof has been obtained, the
police case is complete; it is ready for trial and passes on to its next stage....
i.e. bringing the suspect before a magistrates'
court upon a charge of a criminal offence. The
other side of the same coin is where the
investigation, although diligently pursued, fails to produce prima facie proof which, as Lord
Devlin in the same case also pointed out (p.
949), must be in the form of evidence that
would be admissible in a court of law. When
the police have reached the conclusion that
prima facie proof of the arrested person's guilt is unlikely to be discovered by further inquiries of him or of other potential witnesses, it is their duty to release him from custody
unconditionally: Wiltshire Vs. Barrett (1966) 1
43. In Indian Law as in the U.K. the power to
investigate crime is statutory. A notified officer is entitled to investigate an offence in
accordance with the provisions of the Criminal
Procedure Code read with the Police Act or the
Manual, as the case may. The exercise of
statutory power has to be lawful and free of
malice or unfairness. The power must be
exercised in good faith, not only at the time of examining a suspect but while taking a final
view for sending the accused for trial. This
power to investigate should continue during the
entire investigation and even during trial and
that is the precise reason why the court of
competent jurisdiction is vested with a power as contemplated in Sections 173(8) and 319 of the
Criminal Procedure Code to practically re-
examine the entire case of the prosecution
based on and with reference to the evidence
relied upon by the Investigating Agency which
is collected even after the commencement of
trial." (emphasis supplied)
24. The dictum in the above said decision (in particular on which emphasis is placed) reinforces the view that naming a person as suspect accused in the Final Police Report/charge-sheet filed under Section 173(2) or 173(8) of the Cr.P.C. cannot be countenanced, as it would be opposed to Criminal Jurisprudence. In that sense, column 12 of Form I.I.F.-V requiring disclosure of particulars of persons not charge sheeted (suspect) as prescribed by the State Government vide Notification dated 18th March, 1997 or in the circular issued by the Director (SR), Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, dated September, 21, 2005, cannot continue to be part of the charge-sheets or police reports filed by the Investigating Officers in Court on completion of the investigation. Instead, it may be open to the Investigating Officer to invite the attention of the concerned Court at the appropriate stage about his perception or suspicion regarding the likelihood of involvement of some other person(s) who is not named in the charge-sheet and seek appropriate direction of the concerned Court to allow him to undertake further investigation qua that person. 44 wp314309
25. If the name of the person is allowed to remain in the charge-sheet as a suspect accused, it may give rise to a legitimate objection by the person for continuance of his name as suspect in the charge-sheet. As that person may not get opportunity to defend himself during the trial and at the same time, his reputation would be inevitably sullied due to continuation of his name as suspect accused in the Final charge-sheet. The rudimentary principles of natural justice would then demand that such person should get a fair opportunity to explain his position if at all there is tittle of doubt about his alleged involvement in the commission of crime in question. If such person, as in the present case, were to approach the Court for effacing his name from the police report / charge sheet as a suspect by way of petition under Section 482 of the Code or Article 226 of the Constitution, it would inevitably require the Court to appreciate the documents and evidence placed before it, to examine his grievance. That would amount to a pretrial of the disputed questions. The appreciation of evidence is the function of the Trial Court and normally be left to that Court. This position is no more res integra. The Apex Court in the case of State of Bihar & Anr. vs. P.P.Sharma, IAS & Anr. reported in 1992 Supp (1) SCC 222 has held that it is a settled law that a person should be given an opportunity to meet the allegations, otherwise, it 45 wp314309
would amount to violation of principles of natural justice, as the person described as suspect accused would be "condemned without getting opportunity", much less a fair opportunity, at least at some stage either during the investigation and in any case before the appropriate Court. It is well established by now that a person has right to defend his reputation, being one of the facets of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The Apex Court in the case of Smt.Kiran Bedi vs. Committee of Inquiry & Anr. reported in (1989) 1 SCC 494 had occasion to observe thus:
"21. The reason for the importance attached
with regard to the matter of safeguarding the
reputation of a person being prejudicially
affected in Clause (b) of Section 8-B of the Act is not far to seek.
22. The following words of caution uttered by
the Lord to Arjun in Bhagwad Gita with regard
to dishonour or loss of reputation may usefully
Akirtinchapi Bhutani Kathaishyanti te-a-vyayam,
Sambhavitasya Chakirtir Maranadatirichyate.
(Men will recount thy perpetual dishonour, and to one highly esteemed, dishonour exceeded death.)
23. In Blackstone's Commentary of the Laws of
England, Volume I 4th edn., it has been stated
at page 101 that the right of personal security
consists in a person's legal and uninterrupted
46 wp314309 enjoyment of his life, his limbs, his body, his
health and his reputation.
24. In Corpus Juris Secundum, Volume 77 at
page 268 is to be found the statement of law in
the following terms:
It is stated in the definition Person, 70
C.J.S. p. 688 note 66 that legally the term "person" includes not only the physical body and members, but also every bodily sense and personal attribute, among which is the reputation a man has acquired. Blackstone in his Commentaries classifies and
distinguishes those rights which are annexed to the person, jura personarum, and acquired rights in
external objects, jura rerum; and in the former he includes personal security, which consists in a
person's legal and uninterrupted enjoyment of his life, his limbs, his body, his health, and his
reputation. And he makes the corresponding
classification of remedies. The idea expressed is that a man's reputation is a part of himself, as his body and limbs are, and reputation is a sort of right to enjoy the good opinion of others, and it is
capable of growth and real existence, as an arm or leg. Reputation is, therefore, a personal right, and the right to reputation is put among those absolute personal rights equal in dignity and importance to security from violence. According to Chancellor
Kent, "as a part of the rights of personal security, the preservation of every person's good name from the vile arts of detraction is justly included. The laws of the ancients, no less than those of modern nations, made private reputation one of the objects of their protection.
The right to the enjoyment of a good
reputation is a valuable privilege, of ancient origin, and necessary to human society, as stated in Libel and Slander Section 4, and this right is within the constitutional guaranty of personal security as
stated in Constitutional Law Section 205, and a
person may not be deprived of this right through falsehood and violence without liability for the injury as stated in Libel and Slander Section 4. 47 wp314309 Detraction from a man's reputation is an
injury to his personality, and thus an injury to his reputation is a personal injury, that is, an injury to an absolute personal right.
25. In D. F. Marion v. Davis, it was held:
The right to the enjoyment of a private
reputation, unassailed by malicious slander is of ancient origin, and is necessary to human society. A good reputation is an element of personal
security, and is protected by the Constitution
equally with the right to the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property."
26. Notably, the principle enunciated in this Judgment has consistently been followed in several other cases. We may usefully refer to the recent decision of the Apex Court in the case of State of Bihar vs. Lal Krishna Advani & Ors. reported in (2003) 8 SCC 361. The Court quoted the observation in the case of Kiran Bedi (supra) with approval and observed thus:
"6. ........................... Reputation of an individual is an important part of one's life. The High Court then quoted a passage from a
decision of this Court reported in Kiran Bedi v. Committee of Inquiry - (1989) 1 SCC 494: AIR
1989 SC 714, which passage (SCC p.515, para
25) contains the observations from an American
decision in D.F.Marion v. Minnie Davis (55
American LR 171), reads as follows :
"The right to enjoyment of a private reputation, unassailed by malicious slander is of ancient
origin, and is necessary to human society. A
good reputation is an element of personal
security, and is protected by the Constitution
48 wp314309 equally with the right to the enjoyment of life, liberty and property."
Some decisions, to which our attention has been
drawn by Shri Harish N. Salve, learned Senior
Counsel appearing for Respondent 1, may be
referred: Board of Trustees of the Port of
Bombay v. Dilipkumar Raghavendranath
Nadkarni - (1983) 1 SCC 124: 1983 SCC
(L&S) 61, wherein it was observed that right to
reputation is a facet of right to life of a citizen under Article 21 of the Constitution. He has
also referred to the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights, 1965 (ICCPR),
recognizing right to have opinions and the right of freedom of expression subject to the right of reputation of others. The Covenant provides :
"1. Everyone shall have the right to hold
opinions without interference.
2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of
expression; this right shall include freedom to
seek, receive and impart information and ideas
of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or
through any other media of his choice.
3. The exercise of the rights provided for in
paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are
(a) for respect of the rights or reputations of
(b) for the protection of national security or
of public order (ordre public), or of public
health or morals."
It is thus amply clear that one is entitled
to have and preserve, one's reputation and one
also has a right to protect it. In case any
authority, in discharge of its duties fastened
upon it under the law, traverses into the realm
of personal reputation adversely affecting him,
it must provide a chance to him to have his say
in the matter. In such circumstances right of an individual to have the safeguard of the
principles of natural justice before being
adversely commented upon by a Commission
of Inquiry is statutorily recognised and violation of the same will have to bear the scrutiny of
judicial review. A reference may be made to,
Peter Thomas Mahon v. Air New Zealand Ltd -
1984 AC 808 : (1984) 3 All ER 201 : (1984) 3
WLR 884 (PC).
27. As observed by the Apex Court in the case of Lal Krishna Advani (Supra), it may not be necessary for a person to wait till certain action is initiated by the Government. It is open to such person, against whom observations made by the Commission are such, which militate against his reputation, without giving him any chance to explain his conduct, to move the Court for deletion of such observations. Applying the principle underlying the abovesaid enunciations, when a person has been named as suspect that too in the Final Police Report/charge-sheet, he would be entitled to complain that his reputation is impinged upon and, therefore, can legitimately ask for effacing his name from such Final Police Report/charge-sheet - which 50 wp314309
he can do only by filing petition under Section 482 of the Code or under Article 226 of the Constitution. If that happens, it would lead to a pre-trial inquiry of the material, which can be and ought to be answered during the trial against the named accused. Such inquiry may be disastrous to the outcome of the trial itself against the named accused. That cannot be countenanced. As has been observed earlier, the provisions of Section 173(2) of the Cr.P.C. postulate that only the names and details of "accused", or at best "wanted accused" or "unknown accused" should be provided in the police report. In the scheme of things, once police report under Section 173(2) and more so, Final Police Report is filed, it presupposes that the investigation is complete and only the accused against whom sufficient material is gathered during investigation disclosing his complicity in the alleged offence can be sent for trial and none else. To put it differently, the purpose of Police report is to disclose the names of accused who should be sent for trial.
28. In the case on hand, it is not the case of respondent No. 1 that, upon submission of the successive police reports and the final police report by him, the concerned Court, on scrutiny of the material accompanying the said reports, even remotely indicated that it may be 51 wp314309
necessary to proceed against the petitioner, even though he has been named as suspect therein. That gives credence to the petitioner's plea that he cannot be condemned unheard and without an opportunity to defend himself. Insofar as the competent Court is concerned, even after taking cognizance on the basis of the police report, which fails to describe the petitioner as an accused, the Court is free to issue directions to the Investigating Officer to undertake further investigation, including, specifically, against the petitioner; or it may name the petitioner as an accused in exercise of power under Section 319 of the Code in the event evidence comes on record during the trial to indicate the complicity of the petitioner in the commission of the offence.
29. The issue, if considered also on the touchstone of the constitutional scheme, and more particularly the right to reputation guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution, there can be no manner of doubt that no person can be condemned unheard and without a fair trial, much less opportunity to explain his position at some stage of the proceedings. Besides, description of a person as suspect in the police report filed under Section 173(2) or 173(8) of the Code neither 52 wp314309
serves the purpose of preventive measure against him, nor can it be made the basis to take punitive action against him.
30. A priori, I have no hesitation in taking the view that column 12 provided in Form I.I.F.-V of Final Report Form, as prescribed by the State Government in terms of Notification dated 18th March 1997 or in the circular issued by the Director (SR), Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, dated September 21, 2005, is opposed to Criminal Jurisprudence; and retaining thereof in the police report submitted to the Court against the petitioner has the inevitable effect of violating his fundamental right guaranteed to him under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Accordingly, the name of the Petitioner mentioned in supplementary police report / charge-sheet No. 6 and onwards up to the Final Police Report / charge-sheet as suspect accused will have to be effaced from the record.
31. I am conscious of the fact that the validity of the notification issued by the State Government and the circular issued by the Government of India has not been challenged in the Writ Petition as filed. This, however, is a hyper-technical plea to shy away from the position which is stating the obvious. In the first place, as already 53 wp314309
observed by me, the form of police report (IIF-V) specified in terms of the said notification or circular, as the case may be, is not prescribed by the Rules made under the Code as such. Our attention is not invited to any Rules framed under the Code. Even if the said notification and circular were to be reckoned, the petitioner can be given opportunity to amend the Writ Petition and ask for further appropriate relief. Because, the notification issued by the State Government was relied by Respondent No. 1 for the first time during the course of arguments. No reference was made thereto in the reply-affidavit filed by any of the respondents. Further, the circular issued by the Government of India came on record only by way of further affidavit filed by Respondent No. 1 dated 20th December, 2010, after the arguments were concluded on 8th December, 2010. In such a situation, it would be legitimate for the petitioner to request the Court to permit him to carry out a formal amendment of the Writ Petition to specifically challenge the offending part of the said notification and circular. Notably, the arguments pressed into service by the petitioner to challenge the entry in the offending Police Reports mentioning his name as suspect being unjust, unfair, inappropriate and against the spirit of Article 21 of the Constitution of India, on the same arguments the validity of the 54 wp314309
offending part of the Police Report Form (i.e. I.I.F.-V, in particular item No. 12 thereof) will have to be tested.
32. In the further affidavit filed by respondent No. 1, an attempt is made to suggest that the Investigating Officer did not get a free hand to proceed against the petitioner on account of pendency of the Writ Petition filed by the petitioner. No doubt, the petitioner filed Writ Petition in this Court. That, however, did not impede with the investigation at all. In fact, the investigation by respondent No. 1 continued uninterruptedly. It is in the 6th supplementary police report, for the first time, the petitioner came to be named as suspect. The fact that the petitioner resorted to remedy of Writ Petition did not come in the way of respondent No.1, in forming his opinion about the involvement of the petitioner in the commission of offence or otherwise and to name the petitioner as accused in the supplementary police report and, in any case, in the final police report.
33. For the aforestated reasons, the relief claimed in the Petition ought to succeed. That, however, does not mean that the Petitioner cannot be proceeded against at the appropriate stage if the fact situation so warrants, including by resorting to further investigation 55 wp314309
under Section 173 (8) of the Cr.P.C. or to proceed against him under Section 319 of the Cr.P.C., if it appears from the evidence during the course of inquiry into or trial that even though he is not already named as accused has committed offence for which he could be tried together with the named accused. Those aspects will have to be considered at the appropriate stage. The same are left open.
34. Petition disposed of on the above terms. A.M. KHANWILKAR, J.
56 wp314309 IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY
(CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION)
CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO.3143 OF 2009
Mr.Gyan chand Verma
703, Redwood, Marigold Premises
Pune - 411 014.
1) Shri Sudhakar B. Pujari
Senior Police Inspector,
Kole Kalyan Welfare and
Training Centre, Kalina.
2) The State of Maharashtra.
3) The Director General
Anti Corruption Bureau,
Madhu Industrial Estate,
Pandurang Budhkar Marg,
Mr. Dinesh Tiwari, Advocate for petitioner.
Respondent No.1 is present in Court.
Mr. J.P.Yagnik, Additional Public Prosecutor for State.
CORAM:- A.M.KHANWILKAR AND
A.P. BHANGALE, JJ.
JUDGEMENT RESERVED ON: DECEMBER 8, 2010
JUDGEMENT PRONOUNCED ON:JANUARY 24, 2010.
JUDGMENT : (Per A.P.Bhangale, J)
1. Rule. Rule made returnable and heard by consent of the Parties and their counsels. Investigating officer (respondent no.1) was also heard. Affidavits filed with copies of annexures are seen. The question which arise is as to whether name of the petitioner cited in particulars of accused persons- not charge sheeted (suspect)- from the list in column no. 12 of the State Government prescribed format of Final form/Report ( under Section 173 Cr. P. C.) can be quashed from the supplementary Charge sheets no.6 onwards in the case arising from C.R.no. 33 of 2002 registered by the Anti- corruption Bureau, Mumbai initially reported it on 20-06-2002 on the ground that it infringes fundamental right as guaranteed under the Article 21 of the Constitution of India? Article 21 of the constitution of India provides for Protection of life and personal liberty to ensure that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. By this Writ Petition, the Petitioner claims writ of certiorari or similar writ quashing the name of the Petitioner from the supplementary charge sheet or police 58 wp314309
report no.6 dated 22-06-2004 in respect of C.R, No.33 of 2002 registered on 20-06-2002 by ACB,BMU under section 120-B,119, 217, 218, 409, 418, 420, 424, 465, 466, 467, 468, 471, 474, 477(a), 380, 381, 457, 421 read with section 34 of the Indian Penal Code along with Section 13(1) (d) and 13(2) of the Prevention of the Corruption Act, 1988 read with section 109 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 5, 7, 8 of the Maharashtra Prevention of Malpractices in Examination Act, 1982 (known as 'MPSC scam'). According to the Petitioner, final Charge sheet is submitted in the case on 31-03-2006, but name of the Petitioner is continued to be shown as a Suspect because he has been victimized by then Investigating officer. It is case of the Petitioner that he joined the Police service in the year 1965 .He was meritorious in service and in the year 1997 was promoted to the rank of Director General of Anti-corruption Bureau, State of Maharashtra. He was appointed as Member of the Maharashtra Public Service Commission, ( hereinafter referred to as MPSC). He was also appointed as Chairman of The MPSC. On the complaint lodged by the first informant Smt. Seema Dhamdhere from MPSC, Anti- corruption bureau registered FIR on 20-06-2002 and as CR no 33 of 2002 at ACB,BMU ,which was investigated and charge sheet was filed on 27-09-2002 and total nine supplementary police reports 59 wp314309
were filed later. The Petitioner had challenged the investigation praying for to quash the same. That writ Petition no 2244 of 2005 which was pending for years was ultimately dismissed by this Court on 31-03-2008 as infructuous since Charge sheet was filed in the case. The Petitioner alleged that the Investigating officer had obtained the search warrant and was trying to falsely implicate the Petitioner by compelling the Petitioner to toe his line. The Petitioner has been named as Suspect instead of as a witness in the case at the time when the 6th supplementary charge sheet was filed. It is alleged that the investigating officer had through his common acquaintance persuaded him to ask another member Mrs. Sayali Joshi to surrender herself assuring early filing of charge sheet and her bail subsequently. At the instance of the I.O. preliminary inquiry was conducted by the Secretary of MPSC 20-05-2002 to 27-05-2002 and report was submitted and the matter was referred to the ACB. According to the Petitioner he gave information to, Director General, ACB Shri S.S. Puri who was persuaded by him to investigate the matter. Petitioner was coordinating between the ACB and the MPSC for progress in the investigation, to unearth the crime and to get it scientifically investigated. The petitioner's name surfaced in the form no. 5-C of the 6th charge sheet when he is grouped as 'other associates' and /or 60 wp314309
'suspects' with remark suspicion approved. The Petitioner contended that this is not substantiated by any evidence. The petitioner thus averred that he had no role in the crime but the I.O. included his name mala fide and falsely, though senior officers to the I.O. refuted stand taken by the I.O. as contended in the Petition. It is claimed that it is a case of no evidence as against the Petitioner in the MPSC scam. But the I.O. had exceeded his power and searched the residence of the Petitioner under a search warrant dated 15-03-2004 on 24-09-2005, and seized certain documents and articles. Which according to the Petitioner are not even remotely connected to the case. The articles and the documents were returned in the year 2008 to the Petitioner by the Special Court trying the case. According to the Petitioner he could not have been legally shown as a suspect after completion of the investigation. The petitioner can not file any application for discharge from the case as he is shown as a suspect with remark 'suspicion approved' and therefore he prayed for to quash his name from the supplementary charge sheets no. 6 and onwards from the case.
2. The petitioner had earlier challenged the investigation in the case by filing Writ Petition 2244 of 2005, which was dismissed 61 wp314309
by this court on 31-03-2008 on the ground that the Petitioner was not shown as an accused but as a Suspect and the charge-sheet was not challenged. Since Charge sheet was filed, the Petition became infructuous and dismissed. The Petitioner again chose to file this Petition.
3. Government of Maharashtra notification no. COM. 0195/POL.4/1/POL.4 dated 18-03-1997 prescribed format 5-C, clause 12 relates to particulars of the accused persons -not charge sheeted-(suspect). The particulars of the Petitioner appear to have been included with special remarks of the investigating officer for not charge sheeting him as 'investigation continued/writ Petition filed by accused.' as also suspicion approved. (Ex. B to the Petition).In my opinion in the absence of challenge to the validity of this Notification which appears to have been approved by the Central Government of India, the petitioner can not ask to delete his name from the prescribed format of the Charge sheets tendered in the case.
4. The Petitioner appears to have obtained the copy of internal comments of Police officer supervising the investigation, relied upon (Exh.C) to the Petition. The supervising officer concluded with the remarks that the investigating officer should be 62 wp314309
advised to complete and conclude the investigation without any further delay. He may also be asked to indicate what further investigation remains to be done and the time frame that would be required for the same and give a plan of action within 7 days. It is astonishing as to how the Petitioner can lay his hands on such internal comments made during the crucial, preliminary stage of investigation pending against him. Copies of comments annexed would only indicate that there was no free hand for the Investigating Officer to effect arrest and investigate the Petitioner due to differences of opinions between the investigating officer and his superior officer. It is grievance of the investigating officer (Respondent no. 1 Mr. Pujari) that the Petitioner had filed the writ Petition no. 2244 of 2005 and successfully prevented his arrest and custodial investigation, due to interim order 'not to arrest' during pendency of that Petition. After Charge sheet was filed in the Special Court against those accused in respect of whom investigation is complete, the investigator named certain persons as the non-charge sheeted accused (suspects) against whom suspicion was approved. The Petitioner is one of them. Petitioner claims that the allegations made against the petitioner are not substantiated and therefore reputation of the Petitioner is tarnished. He relied on Article 21 of the 63 wp314309 constitution of India which provides for Protection of life and personal liberty to ensure that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. (emphasis mine)
On behalf of the Petitioner reference is made to the ruling in Smt. Kiran Bedi vs. Committee of Inquiry and another[AIR 1989 SC 714]. The Committee in that case decided to examine the conduct of the Police officers including Ms. Kiran Bedi and Jinder Singh as falling under section 8B of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952, and they were required to appear in the witness box for cross examination at the very inception of inquiry even before the statements of witnesses proving the accusations against the Petitioners had been recorded. Action of the committee to compel them to appear as witnesses was therefore, held discriminatory as also the consequential order by the Committee to prosecute them was held invalid by the Apex Court in the special facts and circumstances of that case, as involving infringement of Art. 14 and 21 of the Constitution. The Apex Court had passed the order in exercise of jurisdiction under Art.32 and 142 read with 136 of the Constitution of India. The ruling, to my mind, would not be of any assistance to 64 wp314309 the Petitioner in the facts and circumstances of the instant case. Reference is then made to the ruling in Smt. Rajani Vishram Patil Vs C.B.I. & Anr. [2009 ALL MR (Cri) 3262]. This Court in para 45 concluded thus:
"1. We hold that the exercise of monitoring the investigation and the power vested in the High Court to issue a writ of continuing mandamus would depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. Where the investigation is so very unjust and unfair and is in unlawful exercise of statutory discretion, the court could interfere and monitor the investigation even after a report under section 173 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 has been filed before the Court of competent jurisdiction;
2. On the facts of the present case, we are unable to hold that the investigation of the case by CBI has been unjust and unfair or that the statutory discretion has been exercised by the investigating agency with malice, favouritism or mala fide so as to invite the intervention of this Court under the extra ordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India during the pendency of the trial before the competent Court;
3. Certain documents/affidavits have been produced before this Court, and probably for the first time, on which reliance was placed by the Petitioner during the course of the hearing of the Petition. We direct CBI to examine all such records and submit its report to the Trial Court within one month from the date of the pronouncement of this order. The CBI shall also file 65 wp314309 before the Trial Court all documents and evidence which it intends to rely upon or to refer during the course of the trial;
4. Liberty is granted to the Petitioner, Applicant and Intervenors to move the Trial Court for any relief or such prayer as may be permissible to them in accordance with law. The applications, if any, filed by them may be dealt with and disposed of by the Trial Court as expeditiously as possible;
5. The Trial Court is free to pass any orders in furtherance to the power vested in it under Section 173(8) read with Section 319 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the present case;----"
The conclusions by this Court made it clear that the matter was left to the sole discretion of the trial court dealing with the case so that it would pass any orders as it may deem fit and proper in the circumstances of the case uninfluenced by any observations made in the order passed by this Court in that Petition. On behalf of the Petitioner reference is also made to the ruling in K. Veeraswami Vs Union of India & others (1991)3 SCC 655. ( in para : 169)
66 wp314309 " The Investigating Officer is only required to collect material to find out whether the offence alleged appears to have been committed. In the course of the investigation, he may examine the accused. He may seek his clarification and if necessary he may cross check with him about his known sources of income and assets possessed by him. Indeed, fair investigation requires as rightly stated by Mr. A.D. Giri learned Solicitor General, that the accused should not be kept in darkness. He should be taken into confidence if he is willing to cooperate. But to state that after collection of all material the investigating Officer must give an opportunity to the accused and call upon him to account for the excess of the assets over the known sources of income and then decide whether the accounting is satisfactory or not, would be elevating the Investigating Officer to the position of an enquiry officer or a judge. The investigating officer is not holding an enquiry against the conduct of the public servant or determining the disputed issues regarding the disproportionality between the assets and the income of the accused. He just collects material from all sides and prepares a report which he files in the Court as charge sheet.
The charge sheet is nothing but a final report of police officer under Section 173(2) of the Cr. P.C. The Section 173(2) provides that on completion of the investigation the police officer investigating into a cognizable offence shall submit a report. The report must be in the form prescribed by the State Government and stating therein (a) the names of the parties; (b) the nature of the information; (c) the names of the persons who appear to be acquainted with the circumstances of the case; (d) whether any offence appears to have been committed and, if so, by whom (e) whether the accused has been arrested; (f) whether he had been released on his bond and, if so, whether with or without sureties; and (g) whether he has been. Forwarded in custody under Sec.
170. As observed by this Court in Satya Narain Musadi and Ors. v. State of Bihar,  3 SCC 152 at 157; that the statutory requirement of the report under Section 173(2) would be complied with if the various details prescribed therein are included in the report. This report is an intimation to the magistrate that upon investigation into a cognizable offence the investigating officer has been able to procure sufficient evidence for the Court to inquire into the offence and the necessary information is being sent to the Court. In fact, the report under Section 173(2) purports to be an opinion of the investigating officer that as far as he is concerned he has been able to procure sufficient material for the trial of the accused by the Court. The report is complete if it is accompanied with all the documents and statements of witnesses as required by Section 175(5). Nothing more need be stated in the report of the Investigating Officer. It is also not necessary that all the details of the offence must be stated. The details of the offence are required to be proved to bring home the guilt to the accused at a later stage i.e. in the course of the trial of the case adducing acceptable evidence"
It appears that by majority of opinion, the appeal was dismissed and the trial court was directed to proceed further in the case. Thus, both these citations of 'Rajani Vishram' and 'Veeraswami' are not of any assistance to the Petitioner herein as the judicial consensus seems the same to leave the matter to the judicial discretion of the trial court seised of the same. The sweep of Article 21 of the Constitution has got developed vastly as it was understood 68 wp314309
from early 50s and 60s and as on date, it has changed to the extent that the rights guaranteed under Article 21 are not restricted only to life and liberty but also to other facets of law. In this connection, he has placed strong reliance in the judgment reported in (2003) 8 SCC 361 in the case of State of Bihar v. Lal Krishna Advani & Others ('L.K. Advani's case) wherein it has been held that right to reputation is a facet of right to life and is enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution and if that right to reputation is intruded without providing an opportunity, certainly, the protection under Article 21 will come to the rescue and therefore, it is a classic example for observation of principles of natural justice also; The Public figure in such case needs an opportunity from the investigator, a courtesy to send letter, notice or order may be served on the Public figure if he is suspected and explanation may be called for from him, otherwise he may be deprived of his right to reputation irretrievably, if arrested without reason. In other words, no citizen can be condemned without any reason, whatsoever, and so as to affect his reputation, which is so dear to every person. The investigators therefore owe a duty of care to the accused or suspect not to indict/chargesheet him, in the absence of reasonable or probable cause without any material collected against him during the investigation.
5. The investigating officer is an essential arm of the law and plays pivotal role to assist in the dispensation of criminal justice and maintenance of law and order. The police investigation is, therefore, the foundation stone on which the whole edifice of criminal trial rests. Any error by the investigating officer to complete the chain of investigation may result in miscarriage of justice and the prosecution may entail with the acquittal of even guilty. Investigation is a tardy and tedious process. The duty of the investigating officer, therefore, is onerous to ascertain facts, to extract the whole truth from half-truths or garbled version, connecting the chain of events to reach the real culprits. Enough power, therefore, has been given to the police officer in the area of investigatory process, granting him or her great latitude to exercise discretionary power to make it a successful investigation. It is because of the complete effective investigation that the law becomes an actual positive force. Often the scams are generated by criminal conspiracy hatched in utmost secrecy in a complicated inner as well as larger ring with dexterity and with masterminds at high places. When rich and influential's are involved as suspect masterminds, power wielding unscrupulous elements may readily extend their helping hands to screen them off from the case. The investigating officer then in such case has uphill task to obtain 70 wp314309
information from all the available sources disclosed or undisclosed and there is no set procedure for to conduct investigation in a specific manner to connect every link in the chain of prosecution case while collecting the complete evidence except to the extent expressly prohibited by the Code or the Evidence Act or the Constitution of India. In view of the arduous task involved in the investigation, the investigating officer has been given full liberty to collect the necessary evidence in any manner he feels expedient, on the facts and in given circumstances. His/her primary focus has to be on the solution of the crime by intensive investigation. It is his duty to ferret out the truth by laborious hard-work and attention to all details, by his ability to sort out essential material through mountainous information, recognized behavioral patterns and above all, to co- ordinate the efforts to book the real culprits associated with various elements of the crime is essential, even if some of them may have remained at the stage of suspected level and left out from the charge sheet at the stage of police report under section 173(2) of the Code. In a case of Criminal conspiracy there may be offenders in inner as well as outer circle of the same. Diverse methods are, therefore, involved in achieving a successful completion of the investigation. 71 wp314309
6. From this perspective, the function of the judiciary in the course of investigation by the police should be complementary and full freedom should be accorded to the investigator to collect the evidence connecting the chain of events leading to the discovery of the truth, viz., the proof of the commission of the crime. Very often individual liberty of a suspect or an accused person is involved and inconvenience to him or her is inescapable and unavoidable. But the investigating officer is bound to conduct in-depth investigation to discover truth while keeping in view the individual liberty with due observance of procedure and the law. At the same time he has a duty to enforce criminal law as an integral process. No criminal justice system deserves respect if its wheels are turned by ignorance of the ground realities. It is true that a suspect may be left out of the charge sheet as it is not business of the investigating officer to fabricate the evidence any how to connect the suspect with the commission of the crime. Trustworthiness of the investigating police officer is the requisite primary assurance in the criminal justice system. Reputation for investigative competence and individual honesty of the investigator are necessary to enthuse public confidence. Total support of the witnesses is also necessary to book the real culprits and to prove and punish the crime.
7. At the stage of investigation, it is well settled and sound principle that the court should not interfere with an investigation into an offence at the stage of investigation and should allow the investigation to be completed, The relevant provisions in the Code of Criminal procedure, 1973, (for short "the Code''). Section 2(n) of the Code and s. 40 of the Indian Penal Code defined the term 'Offence' means any act or omission which includes a thing made punishable under the Indian penal Code, or any special or local laws with imprisonment for a term of six months or upwards whether with or without fine. Therefore, an act or omission or a thing made punishable by the Penal Code or under any special or local law is an offence punishable under the relevant law. Sec. 154 in Chapter XII of the Code, contemplates laying of information of cognizable offences either orally or in writing to an officer of a police station who is enjoined to reduce it into writing, if made orally or under his direction and the substance thereof entered in the book kept in the Police Station in the manner prescribed by the State Government. The Officer in charge of the police station is prohibited to investigate only into non-cognizable cases without an order of the Magistrate concerned under s. 155(2). But if the facts disclose both cognizable and non-cognizable offence, by operation of sub- s. 4 of s. 155 the 73 wp314309 case shall be deemed to be cognizable case and the investigating officer shall be entitled to investigate, without any order of the Magistrate, into non- cognizable offence as well. Section 156 gives statutory power to a competent police officer or a subordinate under his direction to investigate into cognizable offences. In cases of cognizable offences receipt or recording of a first information report is not a condition precedent to set the criminal investigation in motion. Section 157 provides the procedure for investigation. If the police officer in charge of the Police Station, on receipt of information or otherwise, has reason to suspect the commission of a cognizable offence and is empowered to investigate into, he shall proceed in person or shall depute one of his subordinate officers not below the rank of the prescribed officer to the spot to investigate the facts and circumstances and if necessary to take measures for the discovery and arrest of the offender. The application for seeking Police custody remand can be made at the stage when police have received FIR and investigating officer wants to investigate effectively against the accused on the basis of FIR and some material which may be in possession of the investigating officer, so as to investigate further. The police may have to disclose the FIR and such material to the court from which the custodial interrogation of the accused or 74 wp314309 suspect is sought by a prayer for remand. The custodial interrogation for to investigate in serious offences is sine qua non for to effectively investigate the crime reported so as to bring the real offenders to justice. At the stage of the remand the investigation against the suspect is at the nascent stage and therefore at the stage of its inception the accused is not, as of right, entitled to know what are the contents of the material or evidence in possession of the investigating officer. The accused who is arrested in the case is entitled to know only the broad grounds of arrest, the provision or section of the penal law which is required to be mentioned in arrest memo required to be drawn in writing and according to law. The accused, whose custodial remand is sought at the stage of inception of the investigation, is not entitled to know what evidence is in possession of the investigating officer at that stage. If such evidence or material is disclosed to the suspect and he is alerted before his interrogation in custody when investigation is still at its nascent stage, the very basic purpose of the investigation by custodial interrogation would be frustrated as it may become impossible for the Investigating Officer to gather the material and valuable information which may be within special knowledge of the accused/suspect. The suspects or offenders can successfully dodge the investigation by 75 wp314309 resorting to long drawn out circuitous litigation thwarting the investigation at its threshold, if evidence is disclosed to them at very preliminary stage of the investigation. In such case even grant of custodial interrogation may become useless and impossible, as the suspect may not then co-operate with the Investigating Officer seeking to collect more valuable and material information from the suspect. In the result investigation may be stifled at its very neck. It is settled principle that the larger public interest to book the real offenders for to punish them according to law is always of paramount interest and must not be sacrificed at the cost of the myopic personal freedom or reputation claimed by a person suspected of a commission of serious crime. Police officers who chose to file affidavits in this proceeding while the case is still pending under investigation contradicting each other raised dispute as to facts and therefore can not be believed, in the absence of their cross examination as to the contents thereof of their affidavits appear to have indulged in a dirty game of tricks of hurling allegations and counter allegations against each other. Be that as it may, the opportunity to arrest and investigate a suspect in a serious crime is equally important and necessary for to collect, receive and discover valuable and material information for to book the real culprit. The decision at the remand 76 wp314309 stage has to be taken by the Magistrate or the Special Court concerned bearing this in mind. A suspect can not be allowed to kill precious time and stultify the investigation pending against him by stalling his arrest by indulging in prolonged litigation against the investigating agency. Custodial interrogation may be requisite aid to solve the serious crime . Metaphorically speaking, the investigating officer is not justified to hit the nerve of the accused so as to crack the hard nut, but may hope to hear the parrot song from the suspect, aiding the investigation by permissible sustained interrogation. The importance of arrest and an opportunity to investigate the suspect therefore can not be undermined. Investigation consists of diverse steps-(1) to proceed to the spot; (2) to ascertain the facts and circumstances of the case; (3) discovery and arrest of the suspected offender; (4) collection of evidence relating to the commission of the offence which may consist of (a) the examination of various persons including the suspects and the reduction of their statements into writing if the officer thinks fit (Sec. 161 Cr. P.C.); (b) the search of places and seizure of things necessary for the investigation to be proceeded with for the trial (Sec. 165 Cr. P.C. etc.) and (c) recovery of the material objects or disclosure of such of the information from the accused to discover, in consequence thereof, so much of 77 wp314309
information relating to discovery of facts may be proved. (See 27 of the Indian Evidence Act). The Code as such does not prescribe the time limit to complete the investigation in serious criminal cases although various time limits are prescribed in view of section 167 of the Code for authorization of the detention in custody. Section 173(1) expects investigator to complete the investigation expeditiously 'without unnecessary delay'. Section 468 prescribes various periods of limitation for taking cognizance of the offences. But section 473 permits the court to take cognizance of the offence even beyond the prescribed period of limitation.
8. On completion of the investigation, the investigating officer is required to forward a Police report in the form prescribed by the State government. If it appears to the investigator that there is sufficient evidence or reasonable ground to place the accused for trial, the investigating officer shall forward to the court a final report in that regard along with the evidence and material collected during the investigation against him and forward the accused, if he is in the custody to the Magistrate. If on the other hand he opines that there is no sufficient evidence or reasonable ground of suspicion to justify forwarding of the suspect to the Magistrate, the suspect or the 78 wp314309 accused , if in custody be released upon execution of the bond required to be, executed in form no. 22 as prescribed in second schedule of the Code, and the investigator shall forward the report accordingly to the Magistrate. The Magistrate is empowered to consider the report and upon satisfaction that the accused prima facie appears to have committed the offence, take cognizance of the offence and would issue process or warrant to the accused, if on bail, to appear on a date fixed for trial or to commit him for trial to the Court of Session. It is not incumbent upon the Magistrate to accept the report of the investigating officer to the effect that there is no sufficient evidence or reasonable ground to connect the accused with the commission of the crime; he may direct further investigation suo motu or the investigating officer may himself submit supplementary charge sheet under s. 173(8) if he subsequently becomes aware of certain facts which may come to light later. Thus further enquiry or investigation is not barred by law in view of section 173(8) even after the court has taken cognizance of the offence upon consideration of the material placed before it. The allegations which were in the realm of suspicion may get substantiated as a result of the permitted further investigation. The stage for disclosing the material collected during the investigation comes when the court has taken cognizance of the 79 wp314309 final report (vide section 173 of the code) at the end of the investigation. The copies are required to be furnished to the accused charge sheeted, in view of section 207 of the Code. Trial Court can take further steps as contemplated under section 319 of the Code even against those who were not charge sheeted as accused but if evidence surfaces against those who were in the realm of suspicion, the law does permit for to indict additional accused, although the it is an extra- ordinary power available to the trial court to use it sparingly and with circumspection upon evidence adduced suo moto or upon application made for that purpose.
9. In State of Bihar vs. R.P Sharma AIR 1991 SC 1260, the Apex Court observed thus:
"The question of mala fide exercise of power assumes significance only when the criminal prosecution is initiated on extraneous considerations and for an unauthorised purpose. There is no material whatsoever is this case to show that on the date when the FIR was lodged by R.K. Singh he was activated by bias or had any reason to maliciously. The dominant purpose of registering the case against the respondents was to have an investigation done into the allegations contained in the FIR and in the event of there being sufficient material in support of the allegations to present the charge sheet before the court. There is no material to show that the dominant object of 80 wp314309 registering the case was the character assassination of the respondents or to harass and humiliate them. This Court in State of Bihar v J.A.C. Saldhana and Ors.,  2 SCR 16 has held that when the information is lodged at the police station and an offence is registered, the mala fides of the informant would be of secondary importance. It is the material collected during the investigation which decides the fate of the accused person. This Court in State of Haryana and Ors. v. Ch. Bhajan Lal and Ors., J.T. 1990 (4) S.C. 655 permitted the State Government to hold investigation afresh against Ch. Bhajan Lal inspite of the fact the prosecution was lodged at the instance of Dharam Pal who was enimical towards Bhajan Lal. The informant, being in a peculiar position having lodged the accusation, is bound to be looked-down upon by the accused-persons. The allegations of Mala fide therefore against the informant based on the facts after the lodging of the FIR are of no consequence and cannot be the basis for quashing the proceedings. As regards the investigating officer, He has wide powers under the criminal procedure code. He has to perform his duties with the sole object of investigating the allegations and inthe course of the investigation he has to take into consideration the relevant material whether against or in favour of the accused. Simply because the investigating officer, while acting bona fide rules out certain documents as irrelevant, it is no ground to assume that the acted mala fide. The police-report submitted by the investigating officer has to pass through the judicial scrutiny of a Magistrate at the stage of taking cognisance. Although the accused person has no right to be heard at that stage but in case the accused person has any grouse against the investigating officer or with the method of investigation he can bring to the notice of the Magistrate his grievances which can be looked into by the Magistrate. When the police report under section 173 Cr.P.C. has to go through the judicial scrutiny it is not open to the High Court to find fault with the same on the ground that certain documents were not taken into consideration by 81 wp314309 the investigating officer. We do not, therefore, agree with the High Court that the FIR and the investigation is vitiated because of the malafides on the part of the informant and the investigating officer" The Court, before which the Charge sheet or police reports are submitted in prescribed forms against the accused/suspects named in report, is required to appreciate the credibleness of the allegations. The society has broader interest to oversee that police shall investigate crime and nab the culprits so as to send them for trial. The investigation may remain pending against a suspect, i.e. someone who is under suspicion but not included in the charge sheet for want of an opportunity to arrest and investigate against him/her. A suspect is a person who is believed by the investigator as linked with the crime .But investigating officer is without any positive material against him to identify and term him as an 'accused' and send him for trial. Investigation against the suspect can resume if opportunity to interrogate him is available. If any additional material rise up to furnish sufficient ground to indict the suspect, the investigating officer may, in that case move against such suspect take step to hold him in custody for brief period as is 82 wp314309 permissible under law for custodial interrogation. If suspect is a public figure it is in his own interest to come out of heavy shadow of allegations to be worthy of public trust and confidence. There is duty to take reasonable care on the part of investigator to bear in mind the constitutional rights available to citizen and not to unnecessarily target any innocent citizen as 'suspect' as it may irretrievably tarnish his reputation and image in the society. If some one is named as suspect in the police report mala fide without any basis whatsoever or by misuse of power, then in exceptional circumstances and sparingly the High Court may interfere with the Police reports or Charge sheet filed, in exercise of jurisdiction and extra ordinary power under Article 226 of the Constitution.
10. The object of criminal justice system is to ensure that the guilty are convicted and punished, and innocents are protected and set free .Taking cognizance of the offence is co- terminus to the power of the police to investigate in the crime. Until then there is no power to the Magistrate except on a private complaint in a cognizable/non cognizable offence to direct the police to investigate into the offence. The Magistrate is not empowered to interfere with the investigation by the police. In King Emperor v. Khawaja Nazir 83 wp314309
Ahmad, (71 Indian Appeals, 203), the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council held that "the function of the judiciary and the police are complementary, not overlapping" and "the court's functions begin when a charge is preferred before it, and not until then".
11. In Jamuna Chaudhary v State of Bihar, [(1974) 3 SCC 774], the Apex Court held:
"The Duty of the investigating officer is not merely to bolster up a prosecution case with such evidence as may enable the court to record a conviction, but to bring out the real unvarnished truth".
The duty is therefore cast upon the investigating officer to maintain a day-to-day diary of his investigation, which is known as "Case Diary" duly paginated in a bound volume as required under s. 172 of the Code. It is true that the entries in the case diary are not evidence nor can they be used by the accused or the court unless the case comes under s. 172(3) of the Code. The trial court is entitled to peruse case diary to aid and enable it in any inquiry or trial to find 84 wp314309 out if the investigation has been conducted on the right lines so that appropriate directions, if need be, may be given and it may also provide materials showing the necessity to summon witnesses not mentioned in the list supplied by the prosecution or to bring on record other relevant material which in the opinion of the court will help it to arrive at a proper decision in terms of s. 172(3) of the Code. The primary duty of the police, thus is to collect complete evidence of the commission of the offence and to produce the entire material before the court to enable the court to find out whether the accused named in the charge-sheet have committed the offence or whether there is reason to believe that the suspect, other than the accused named in the charge-sheet, have committed the offence and whether the evidence available is sufficient to indict suspect. Under the Code the investigating officer is normally expected to submit his full and final report in the form prescribed by the State Government to the competent Magistrate to enable him to take cognizance of the offence, without withholding or suppressing any information which came to his knowledge. Section 173(2), Cr. P.C. postulates that the officer-in-charge is required to forward to a competent Magistrate a report in the prescribed form as soon as investigation is complete. Section 173(1) and (2), Cr. P.C. reads as under:-- 85 wp314309
"173. Report of police officer on completion of investigation. -- (1) Every investigation under this Chapter shall be completed without unnecessary delay. (1-A)The investigation in relation to rape of a child may be completed within three months from the date on which the information was recorded by the officer-in- charge of the police station
(2)(i) As soon as it is completed, the officer-in-charge of the police station shall forward to a Magistrate empowered to take cognizance of the offence on a police report, a report in the form prescribed by the State Government, stating--
(a) the names of the parties;
(b) the nature of the information;
(c) the names of the persons who appear to be acquainted with the circumstances of the case;
(d) whether any offence appears to have been committed and, if so, by whom;
(e) whether the accused has been arrested;
(f) whether he has been released on his bond and, if so, whether with or without sureties;
86 wp314309 (g) whether he has been forwarded in custody under Section 170.
(h)whether the report of the medical examination of the woman has been attached where investigation relates to an offence under sections 376-A, 376-B, 376-C or 376-D of the Indian Penal Code(45 Of 1860)
(ii) The officer shall also communicate, in such manner as may be prescribed by the State Government, the action taken by him to the person, if any, by whom the information relating to the commission of the offence was first given."
Under Section 173(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code the investigating officer is required to submit report in the prescribed form and the details are to be mentioned as specified in Section 173(2) which would include particulars as to whether in his opinion any offence appears to have been committed and, if committed, names of the persons by whom it is committed, irrespective of nomenclature given whether they are named as suspects or accused. Sub-section (5) of Section 173 prescribes that along with the said report all documents or relevant extracts thereof on which 87 wp314309 prosecution proposes to rely other than those already sent to the Magistrate during investigation and the statements recorded under Section 161 of all the persons whom the prosecution proposes to examine as its witnesses are required to be forwarded to the Magistrate. In view of this Sub-section (5) the investigating officer is required to submit evidence or material collected during the investigation which may furnish reasonable ground of suspicion to justify forwarding of the accused to the magistrate who is empowered to take cognizance upon the police report. Sections 169, 170,172 and 173 of the Code read in juxtaposition to each other clarify the requirements of law. Therefore, the statutory requirements of the report under Section 173(2) would be complied with if the various details therein prescribed are included in the final report. The final report/challan/chargesheet/Police report is intimation to the Magistrate (or the Special court which can take cognizance without the requirement of an order of committal under section 209 of the Code) that upon investigation into a cognizable offence the investigating officer has been able to procure sufficient evidence for the Court to inquire into the offence and the requisite information is being sent to the Court. In fact, the report under Section 173(2) purports to be an opinion of the investigating officer that, as far as he 88 wp314309 is concerned that he has been able to procure sufficient evidence for the trial of the accused by the Court and when he states in the report not only the names of the accused, but names of the witnesses, the nature of the offence and a request that the case be tried, there is compliance with Section 173(2). The report as envisaged by Section 173(2) has to be accompanied as required by Sub-section (5) by all the documents and statements of the witnesses therein mentioned. One cannot divorce the details which the report must contain as required by Sub-section (2) from its accompaniments which are required to be submitted under Sub-section (5). The whole of it is submitted as a report to the Court. After submitting this report he is entitled to make further investigation depending upon facts and circumstances of each case under Section 173(8) and if he obtains further evidence, oral or documentary, he is required to forward further report or reports to the Magistrate regarding such evidence in the manner as prescribed under Sections 173(2) to (6) of the Code. Section 172 of the Code requires the investigating officer to maintain case diary including therein the statements of all witnesses recorded under section 161 ,in a volume duly paginated. Which any criminal court can call for to aid it in any such inquiry or trial. Therefore narrow view of interpretation of section 173 (2) (d) that names of 89 wp314309 suspect can not be disclosed to the Magistrate empowered to take cognizance of the offence or to the Court concerned trying the case, can not be permissible. Further, looking to the objects and reasons of incorporation of Sub-section (8) in Section 173, it would be clear that Sub-section (8) was incorporated to avoid such type of narrow interpretation of Section 173 by the Court. For the objects and reasons of incorporating Sub-section (8), the following paragraph of the Law Commission's 41st Report can be taken into consideration: "1423. A report under Section 173 is normally the end of the investigation. Sometimes, however, the police officer after submitting the report under Section 173 comes upon evidence bearing on the guilt or innocence of the accused. We should have thought that the police officer can collect that evidence and send it to the Magis- trate concerned. It appears, however, that Courts have sometimes taken the narrow view that once a final report under Section 173 has been sent, the police cannot touch the case again and cannot reopen the investigation. This view places a hindrance in the way of the investigating agency, which can be unfair to the prosecution and, for that matter, even to the accused. It should be made clear in Section 173 that the competent police officer can ex- amine such evidence and send a report to the Magistrate. Copies concerning the fresh material must of course be furnished to the accused. (See Sub-section (8))." 'Police report' is defined under Section 2 (r) Cr.P.C. The report should be in the form prescribed by the State Government giving the 90 wp314309 particulars mentioned in clauses (a) to (g) of sub-section (2) of section 173 of the Code. It is settled legal position in view of section 173(8) of the Code that the police report containing all the particulars mentioned in Section 173(2) Cr.P.C. is a valid police report irrespective of the fact that it does not contain some of the documents required to be filed under Section173 (5) Cr.P.C. Police report or 'Challan' is a considered opinion of the investigating officer as to the commission of crime to be cognized by the Magistrate or the Court trying the case.
12. The judicial control which the Magistrate can exercise is indicated in the ruling of S.N. Sharma v. Bipen Kumar Tiwari & Ors., [(1970)3 SCR 946], the Apex Court held that section 159 is primarily meant to give to the Magistrate the power to direct an investigation in cases where the police decides not to investigate the case under proviso to s. 157(1) and it is in those cases, if the Magistrate or the trial Court concerned thinks fit, can choose to enquire into the case by himself or direct the subordinate Magistrate to enquire into and submit a report. Section 159 intends to give a limited power to the Magistrate to ensure that the police shall investigate into cognizable offence and do not refuse to do so except 91 wp314309 for certain limited permissible options of not proceeding with the investigation of the offence. The Code gives unfettered power to the Police to investigate all cases where they suspect a cognizable offense has been committed. Upon the submission of final report the Court is expected to apply its mind to the allegations made, as the criminal trial is a quest for the truth, to punish the real offenders, based upon evidence led in the trial Court.
13. In an appropriate case an aggrieved person can always seek a remedy by invoking the power of the High Court under Art. 226 of the Constitution. If the court could be convinced that the power of investigation has been exercised by a police officer mala fide, a mandamus can be issued restraining the investigator from misusing his legal powers. The same view was reiterated in State of Bihar & Anr.v. J.A.C.Saldanha & Ors., [(1980) 1 SCC 554] wherein the Apex court held that unless an extra-ordinary case of gross abuse of power by those in charge of the investigation is made out, the Court should be quite loath to interfere at the stage of investigation. A field of activity to investigate the crime is well demarcated and statutorily reserved for the police and the executive. The Apex Court also noted that interference at the stage of investigation would be 92 wp314309 clear case of usurpation of jurisdiction by the High Court, of that which is vested in the Magistrate to take or not to take cognizance of the case on the basis of material placed before him. The High Court would have no justification to make observations on seriously disputed question of facts merely on the basis of affidavits before it, (without the deponent being cross-examined as to its contents), which in such a situation hardly provides any reliable material. The interference or direction by the Court at the stage of investigation, virtually amount to a mandamus to close the case before the investigation is completed. In State of West Bengal v.Sampat Lal, [(1985) 1 SCC 317] (at page 336 Para 26) the Apex court held that the court has residuary power to give appropriate directions to the police when the requirements of law are not being complied with and if investigation is not being done properly or is done with undue haste and promptitude.
14. In Abhinandan Jha & Ors.v.Dinesh Mishra, [(1967) 3 SCR 668] the Apex Court held, preceding introduction of section 173(8) of the Code that the Magistrate cannot direct the police to submit a charge sheet and compel the police to form a particular opinion on investigation and to submit a report according to such 93 wp314309 opinion. If the police submits a report that no case made out for sending up the accused for trial, the court may itself take cognizance of the offence on the basis of the report and the accompanying material if it is found that there is sufficient evidence to proceed further or may itself conduct or direct the subordinate Magistrate to make further enquiry to take action under section 190 etc. In Nazir Ahmed's case (supra) the Judicial Committee held that the functions of the judiciary and the police are complementary, not over-lapping and the combination of individual liberty with due observance of law and order is only to be obtained by leaving each to exercise its own functions. The Code demarcates the field of investigation exclusively to the executive to be vigilant over law and order. Police officer has statutory power and right to investigate the cognizable offence suspected to have been committed by an accused and bring the offenders to book. In respect thereof he needs no authority from a Magistrate or a court except to the extent indicated in sub-section 3 of section 156. Pending the investigation and before submission of the final report under section 173, the Code provides for superintendence by the court sparingly over the investigation and the matters incidental thereto, like enlarging the accused on bail or to secure his presence for further investigation; to record judicial 94 wp314309 confession under section 164 of the Code or to conduct identification parade of the accused or the articles of crime or recording dying declaration under section 32 of Evidence Act.
15. The focal point of discussion from the above backdrop is as to whether the charge sheets including supplementary police reports are vitiated by the alleged mala fides on the part of either the informant or the Investigating Officer Mr.Sudhakar Pujari. Mala fides means want of good faith, personal bias, grudge, oblique or improper motive or ulterior purpose. In that case the alternative efficacious remedy to sue the investigating officer for malicious prosecution and claim heavy compensation for malicious prosecution /defamation, as the case may be, is available to the Petitioner if according to him he has been named as a suspect by the investigating officer in the case without any basis whatsoever (i. e. in the absence of any reasonable or probable cause) and is prosecuted for to defame him. The investigating officer is protected for action taken in good faith and his administrative action must be presumed to have been done in good faith, if it is in fact done honestly, whether it is done negligently or not.
16. The Investigating Officer has wide powers under the criminal procedure code. He has to perform his duties honestly, sincerely with the sole object of unearthing the truth, investigating in to all allegations made. In the course of the investigation he has to take into consideration the relevant material whether against or in favor of the accused. Simply because the investigating officer, while acting bona fide rules out certain documents as irrelevant, is no ground to assume that he acted mala fide. The police-report submitted by the investigating officer has to pass through the judicial scrutiny of a Magistrate at the stage of taking cognizance. The accused person has no right to be heard at that stage but in case the accused person has any grievances against the investigating officer or with the method of investigation he can bring them to the notice of the trial judge concerned, his grievances can be looked into by the trial judge. As the police report under section 173 Cr. P.C. has to go through the judicial scrutiny, in my opinion it is not open to the High Court to find fault with the Government of India approved prescribed formats of the Chargesheet/Final Report Form (Under Section 173 Cr. P.C.) used by the State Government, prematurely on the ground that during the investigation certain more persons were also 96 wp314309
suspected by the investigating officer of the commission of offence more so when the notification concerned is not under Challenge in this petition.
17. State Government's Notification no.COM.0195/POL. 4/1/POL.4 dated 18-03-1997 required the State Police to adopt the prescribed forms for FIR, Crime detail form, Arrest/Court surrender memo, Final report Form, Court disposal memo form, Result of Appeal form , in place of existing forms. Constitutionality of the State Government's Notification prescribing forms to be used by the Police, which was approved by the Central Government of India, is not the subject matter of challenge in this Petition. The Notification referred above was issued to bring about the uniformity in standards of investigation and procedure and to ensure better co ordination in respect of it. It aids the investigator to furnish vital information to the Trial court concerned, without missing any, by adopting procedure established by law.
18. Undoubtedly, the arms of the High Court are long enough, while exercising its prerogative discretionary power under Art. 226 of the Constitution of India, to remedy the injustice wherev- 97 wp314309
er it is found in the judicial or quasi-judicial process of any court or Tribunal or authority within its jurisdiction. But the extra ordinary power to interfere may not be used requiring the investigating officer to drop the details required to be furnished as per the government prescribed format of the charge sheet submitted to the Magistrate or pending for consideration by the trial court concerned. In my opin- ion, under Section 173 of the Code, upon completion of investigation, the investigating officer can not be prevented from disclosing to the Court, the names of the persons by whom the offence appears to have been committed, irrespective of the nomenclature given by him to such persons, whether as accused or suspects, charge sheeted or not charge sheeted. The extra ordinary power used by the High Court has to be necessarily hedged with self imposed limitations to use it in a very exceptional case. When and under which circumstances would a High Court be justified to quash the charge-sheet once cognizance of the offence is already taken by the criminal court is the question of crucial importance, to be judged in particular facts on the basis of mala fides of the complainant or investigating officer and strictly on merits. In my opinion, the fate of the criminal trial can not be left entirely in the hands of the parties to the proceedings once the com- petent trial court is in seisin of the case. The court taking cognizance 98 wp314309 of the offence or trying the case can permit further investigation in to offences alleged in view of section 173(8) of the Code. The trial court has, in view of section 319 of the Code, undoubted jurisdiction to add any person not being the accused before it, to indict him before it to face the trial along with other charge sheeted accused persons, if the Court is satisfied at any stage of the proceeding on the evidence adduced that the persons who have not been arrayed as accused should face the trial. As held in Sohanlal & others Vs. State of Rajasthan reported in AIR 1990 Supreme Court 2158, the Apex Court interpreted and observed that crucial words in the section 319 of Cr.P. Code are, 'any person not being the accused.' This section empowers the Court to proceed against persons not being the accused appearing to be guilty of offence. Sub-ss. 1 and 2 of this section provide for a situation when a Court hearing a case against certain accused person finds from the evidence that some person or persons, other than the accused before it is or are also connected in the very offence or any connected offence; it empowers the court to proceed against such person or persons for the offence which he or they appears or appear to have committed and issue process for the purpose. It provides that the cognizance against newly added accused is deemed to have been taken in the same 99 wp314309
manner in which cognizance was first taken of the offence against the earlier accused. It naturally deals with a matter arising from the course of the proceeding already initiated .The term 'evidence' includes examination in chief, upon which the Court may form prima facie view to summon additional accused. It is settled legal position by now that the word "evidence" occurring in sub-section (1) of Section 319 is used in comprehensive and broad sense which would also include the material collected by the investigating officer and the evidence which comes before the Court and from which the Court is satisfied that person not arraigned before it is involved in the commission of the crime. The Trial Court need not wait till the end of trial to indict additional accused. It is always open for the court suo motu or for the prosecution to apply to implead/indict suspected persons as accused, dependent on the conclusions upon completion of investigation or inquiry. The court may direct further investigation under Section 173(8). Thus trial Court conducting the case may pass appropriate orders to indict the additional accused and compel his presence before the Court. The object being that the whole case against all known suspects/accused must proceed expeditiously, without requirement of any additional/simultaneous trial. The trial 100 wp314309 Court may, for want of sufficient ground to proceed against any accused, discharge the accused if accusation is found groundless , if the accused is charge sheeted and if such grievance is made before it .The trial Court can drop the proceedings against the Petitioner at the stage of the opening address itself (vide Section 226 Cr. P. Code )in the trial if no any evidence is proposed against the Petitioner and there is no reasonable or probable ground to proceed further against him. It is open for the Petitioner to claim discharge from the case if there is no sufficient ground to proceed against him. The trial Court has option to proceed further if there is ground to presume that the accused has committed the offence; in that case it can decide to frame the charge in the trial even on the basis of suspicion, if it is strong and grave enough to lead the court to believe involvement of the accused before it. In my opinion, therefore, without suppressing any material fact from the Court the name of suspect by whom the offence in question appears to have been committed must be mentioned in the final report, with reasons for such final opinion of the investigating officer and material supporting it must be disclosed to the trial Court by the investigating officer in his final police report to the Court (Special Court in this case) giving all the particulars and vital information under section 173 of the Cr. 101 wp314309 P.Code. In the result no fault can be found with the investigating officer if he names the person as suspect pending the investigation against him, who in his opinion appears to have committed the offence but could not be charge sheeted for want of an opportunity to arrest and interrogate him. At this stage when investigation is still pending against the Petitioner it would be premature to exonerate the Petitioner on the pretext of infringement of his reputation. The question which is raised of Personal liberty or fundamental right of the Petitioner is to be examined on the basis of finding as to whether due process of law and procedure has been followed as against him. It would amount to pre- judging the question, bearing in mind that the petitioner has continued to dodge the investigating officer, by his ingenuity to file the writ petitions and deprived the investigating officer from arresting and investigating against him for prolonged period, while petitioner was armed with interim order 'not to arrest him'. The answer to the question raised above therefore has to be in the negative. But, to have a speedy trial is implicit in Art. 21 as fundamental right of any accused in a serious criminal case and therefore the trial court shall proceed, to hear, try and decide the case efficiently in accordance with law and on its own merits. As the trial is pending since long, the learned special Judge in seisin of the 102 wp314309 trial shall make endeavour to dispose of the case expeditiously, as early as possible from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. The petitioner has alternative efficacious remedy to plead for his discharge from the case. The trial Court can always consider such a plea. The petition shall stand dismissed accordingly. Rule is discharged. Certified copies of the affidavits filed in this petition along with copy of this order shall be sent to the Special Court for its information and action as it may deem fit under the circumstances. (A.P.BHANGALE, J.)