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SC – CBI Investigation can be ordered even after commencement of trial


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The two judge bench of the Supreme Court of India comprising of Justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant  in Dharampal vs State of Haryana has ordered a CBI investigation in the case of murder , even after the commencement of trial. In the said case , the petitioner Dharampal had approached the High Court seeking a CBI investigation in the case of his wife’s murder, which was declined as the High Court reasoned the inability of transferring the case to another investigating agency after commencement of the trial.


The CBI  had later contended that the case does not fall within the guidelines laid down by the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in State of West Bengal & others v. Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights, West Bengal and others.  Repelling the contention the Bench held that ‘on a perusal of the said authority, we really do not find any aspect which would support the stand put forth by the learned counsel for the CBI. On the contrary, as we perceive, the Constitution Bench has laid great emphasis on instilling of faith of the victim and the public at large in the investigating agency. True it is, the facts in the said case were different and related to alleged crimes committed by certain State officials, but the base of confidence in investigation has been significantly highlighted’.
Explaining the Constitution Bench Judgment Justice Mishra held as follows; “Be it noted here that the constitutional courts can direct for further investigation or investigation by some other investigating agency.


The purpose is, there has to be a fair investigation and a fair trial. The fair trial may be quite difficult unless there is a fair investigation. We are absolutely conscious that direction for further investigation by another agency has to be very sparingly issued but the facts depicted in this case compel us to exercise the said power.

We are disposed to think that purpose of justice commands that the cause of the victim, the husband of the deceased, deserves to be answered so that miscarriage of justice is avoided. Therefore, in this case the stage of the case cannot be the governing factor. “The power to order fresh, de-novo or re-investigation being vested with the Constitutional Courts, the commencement of a trial and examination of some witnesses cannot be an absolute impediment for exercising the said constitutional power which is meant to ensure a fair and just investigation.

It can never be forgotten that as the great ocean has only one test, the test of salt, so does justice has one flavour, the flavour of answering to the distress of the people without any discrimination”, He added the Court had stayed the Trial and directed that CBI shall conduct the investigation and file the report before the Trial Judge.


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