State of West Bengal Vs. S. N. Basak
 INSC 141 (12 April 1962)
12/04/1962 KAPUR, J.L.
GUPTA, K.C. DAS DAYAL, RAGHUBAR
CITATION: 1963 AIR 447 1963 SCR (2) 52
CITATOR INFO :
F 1968 SC 117 (10) F 1972 SC 484 (12) R 1974
SC1146 (6,10) RF 1982 SC 949 (18,53) R 1985 SC 195 (21) RF 1992 SC 604 (92)
Police Investigation--Report by Police,
Enforcement Branch--Motion to quash--High Court, Powers of--Indian Penal Code,
1860 (Act XLV of 1860), ss. 420, 12OB--Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act V
of 1898), ss. 154, 156, 439 and 561A.
A Sub-Inspcctor of Police, Enforcement
Branch, filed a report before the Police Officer-in-charge of a Police Station
alleging that the respondent along with three others committed offences under ss.420,
120B read with s.420 Indian Penal Code. Thereupon a First Information Report
was drawn up and investigation was started. The respondent surrendered before
the judicial Magistrate and he was released on bail. Subsequently he filed an
application in the High Court under ss. 439 and 561 A of the Criminal Procedure
Code to get the case pending before the judicial Magistrate arising out of the
53 case registered in the Police Station quashed. This application was granted
by the High Court. The appellant the State of West Bengal then filed an appeal
before the Supreme Court by certificate granted by the High Court under Art. 134
(1) (c) of the Constitution.
Held, that the statutory powers given to the
Police under ss. 154 and 156 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to investigate
into the circumstances of an alleged cognizable offence without authority from
a Magistrate cannot be interfered with by the exercise of powers under s.439 of
the Code of Criminal Procedure or under the inherent powers conferred by s.
561A of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The High Court was therefore in error
in allowing the respondent's application.
King Emperor v. Khwaja Nazir Ahmad, (1944)
L.R. 71 I.A. 203 allowed.
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Criminal
Appeal No. 30 of 1961.
Appeal from the judgment and order dated
September 6, 1960 of the Calcutta High Court in Cr. Revision No. 647 of 1960.
B. Sen, P. K. Chatterjee and P. K. Bose, for
D. C. Roy and P. K. Mukherjee, for the
1962. April 12. The Judgment of the Court was
delivered by KAPUR, J.-This is an appeal against the judgment and order of the
High Court of Calcutta quashing the investigation started against the
respondent in regard to offences under s. 420, Indian Penal Code, and s. 120B read
with s. 420 of the Indian Penal Code.
On March 26, 1960, SubInspector.B. L. Gbose
of Police Enforcement Branch filed a written report before the
Officer-in-charge Chakdha P. S., alleging that the respondent in conspiracy
with three others 54 had cheated the Government of West Bengal of a sum of Rs. 20,000.
The respondent at the time was an Assistant-cum Executive Engineer, Kancbrapara
Development Area, Kalyani Division. On the basis of this report a First
Information Report was drawn up and the police started investigation. On April
4, 1960, the respondent surrendered in the court of the Judicial Magistrate at
Ranaghat and was released on bail for a sum of Rs. 1,000/-. The respondent then
on May 9, 1960, filed a petition under ss. 439 and 561A of the Criminal
Procedure Code and prayed for a rule against the District Magistrate, Nadia, to
show cause why the judicial case pending in the court of the Senior Magistrate
Ranagaghat arising out of the Chakdah Police Station Case No. 33 dated March
26, 1960, be not quashed. The High Court held :"In our view, the statutory
power of investigation given to the police under Chapter XIV is not available
in respect of an offence triable under the West Bengal Criminal Law Amendment
(Special Courts) Act 1949, and that being so, the investigation concerned is
without jurisdiction. In so saying, we are consicious of the observations of
their Lordships of the Privy Council in Nazir Ahmad's case, 71 Indian Appeals,
and therefore quashed the police investigation
of the case holding it to be without jurisdiction. It is against this judgment
and order that the state has come in appeal to this Court on a certificate
granted by the High Court under Art.
134 (1) (c) At the time the respondent filed
the petition in the High Court only a written report was made to the police by
the Sub-Inspector of police Enforcement Branch and on the basis of that report
a :First Information Report was recorded by the 55 Officer-in-charge of the
Police Station and investigation had started. There was no case pending at the
time excepting that the respondent had appeared before the Court, had
surrendered and had' been admitted to bail. The powers of investigation into
cognizable offences are contained in Chapter XIV of the Code of Criminal
Procedure. Section 154 which is in that Chapter deals with information in
cognizable offences and s. 156 with investigation into such offences and under
these sections the police has the statutory right to investigate into the
circumstances of any alleged cognizable offence without authority from a Magistrate
and this statutory power of the police to investigate cannot be interfered with
by the exercise of power under s. 439 or under the inherent power of the court
under s. 561A of Criminal Procedure Code. As to the powers of the Judiciary in
regard to statutory right of the police to investigate, the Privy Council in
King Emperor v. Khwaja Nazir Ahmad (1) observed as follows:"The functions
of the judiciary and the police are complementary, not overlapping, and the
combination of individual liberty with a due observance of law and order is
only to be obtained by leaving each to exercise its own function, always, a
course, subject to the right of the court to intervene in an appropriate case
when moved under s. 491 of the Criminal Procedure Code to give directions in
the nature of habeas, corpus. In such a case as the present, however, the
court's functions begin when a charge is preferred before it, and not until
then. It has sometimes been thought that a. 561A has given increased powers to
the Court which it did not possess before that section was enacted. But this is
not so, the section gives no now powers, it (1)(1944),L..R. 71. 1. A. 203, 212.
56 only provides that those which the court
already inherently possesses shall be preserved and is inserted as their
Lordships think, lest it should be considered that the only powers possessed by
the court are those expressly conferred by the Criminal Procedure Code and that
no inherent powers had survived the passing of that Act".
With this interpretation, which has been put
on the statutory duties and. powers of the police and of the powers of the
Court, we are in accord. The High Court was in error therefore in interfering
with the powers of the police in investigating into the offence which was
alleged in the information sent to the Officer-in-charge of the police station.
We therefore allow this appeal and set aside
the order of the High Court. The investigation will now proceed in accordance