Bureau of Investigation & Anr Vs. Rajesh Gandhi & Anr  INSC 1253
(7 October 1996)
V. Manohar Mrs. Sujata V. Manohar.J.
No.l is a Director of M/s. Continental Transport and Construction Corporation
Limited. Some of the other directors of the company are one Ramesh Gandhi and
one Mahesh Gandhi. The first respondent and the said two directors are
brothers. In or about February, 1993 a raid was conducted by the Income Tax
Department, Dhanbad on the office, residence and the factory Premises of M/s.
Transport and Construction Corporation Limited and the first respondent as well
as the other directors of the said company. Certain documents were seized
during the raids. The documents so seized were stored by the then Assistant
Director (Investigation), Department of Income Tax, Dhanbad in one of the steel
almirahs kept in his chamber. During the night of 8th/9th March, 1993 the
documents seized were burnt after breaking open the office's steel almirah in
which documents were kept. In respect of this incident local police registered
an FIR bearing No.159 dated 9.3.1993 in Police Station, Dhanbad, Dhansar under
Sections 457, 436, 427, 201 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code and under
Section 4 of the Prevention of Damage to the Public Properties Act, 1984
against, inter alia, the first respondent and other persons. The investigation
was carried on by the local police.
at the request and with the consent of the State of Bihar as per notification
dated 2 6.7994, the Central Government by its notification/order dated
26.10.1994 issued under Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment
Act, 1946 authorised the first appellant, Central Bureau of Investigation, to
investigate the said offences. Hence the investigation Of the said offences was
transferred to the first appellant and a fresh case RC.1(S)/95(D) was
registered on 3.1.1995 against the first respondent and other accused persons
incorporating the offences mentioned in FIR No.159/93. The first respondent
filed a writ petition in the Patna High Court challenging the said
notifications of 2.6.1994 and 26.10.1994. The present appeal arises from an
order of a learned Single Judge of the Patna High Court quashing the said
is, however not the first such proceeding. Earlier respondent No.1 herein and
other accused persons filed a writ petition on or about 7.2.1995 in the High
Court of Calcutta in respect of the same criminal proceedings. The Calcutta
High Court by its order dated 9.2.1995 disposed of the writ petition by
directing that the venue of the investigation be shifted from Dhanbad to Ranchi
and the investigating officers be changed. This order, however, was set aside
by this Court in S.L.P. (Crl.) No.1155 of 1995.
M/s. Continental Transport and Construction Corporation Limited and one of the
director, Ramesh Gandhi, the brother of respondent No.l, filed a writ petition
before the Ranchi Bench of the Patna High Court praying, inter alia, for a writ
quashing the FIR dated 3rd of January, 1995 lodged in the court of the Special
Judicial Magistrate, C.B.I. cases, Dhanbad and for quashing the notifications
of 2.6.1994 and 26.10.1994. The Ranchi Bench of the Patna High Court, however,
dismissed the writ petition by a reasoned judgment and order dated 10.5.1995.
first respondent than filed a writ petition before the Patna High Court for
identical reliefs of quashing the said notifications. The Patna High Court
allowed the writ petition holding that the impugned notifications must disclose
reasons as to why the investigation was being entrusted to the Delhi Special
Police Establishment. This decision is under challenge before us.
first place, the same two notifications were challenged before the Ranchi Bench
of the same High Court. A learned Single Judge of the High Court by a reasoned
order declined to quash the two notifications. We fail to appreciate how
another learned Single Judge of the same High Court has quashed the same
notifications in disregard of the earlier judgment. Secondly, there is a clear
attempt on the part of first respondent as well as other accused to stall
investigation by the C.B.I., looking to the course of conduct adopted by them
starting with the filing of a writ petition in the Calcuctta High Court when
C.B.I. had registered an F.I.R. before the Special Judicial Magistrate C.B.I.
Cases, at Dhanbad.
is no merit in the pleas raised by the first respondent either. The decision to
investigate or the decision on the agency which should investigate, does not
attract principles of natural justice. The accused cannot have a say in who
should investigate the offences he is charged with. We also fail to see any
provision of law for recording reasons for such a decision. The notification
dated 2.6.1994 is issued b y the Government of Bihar (Police Department) by
which in exercise of powers under Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police
Establishment Act, 1946, Governor of Bihar was pleased to consent and extend
the powers and Jurisdiction of the members of the Delhi Special Police
Establishment to the whole of the State of Bihar in connection with
investigation of the concerned Police Station, on case No.159 of 9.3.1993 in
the District of Dhanbad, under Sections 457, 436, 427, 201 and 120-B, Indian
Penal Code and conspiracy arising out of the same and any other offence
committed in course of the same. The notification of 26.10.1994 is issued by
the Government of India, Ministry of Personnel in exercise of the powers
conferred by sub-section (l) of Section 5 read with Section 6 of the Delhi
Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 whereby the Central Government with the
consent of the State Government of Bihar in their notification dated 2.6.1994
extended the powers and jurisdiction of the members of the Delhi Special Police
Establishment to the whole of the State of Bihar for investigation of offences
under Section 457, 436, 427/120-8 and 201 I.P.C. and Section 4 of the
Prevention Of Damages to Public Property Act, 1984 registered at Dhanbad Police
Station, Dhansar, Bihar in their case No.159 dated 9.3.1933 and any other
offences, attempts, abetment and conspiracy in relation to or in connection
with the said offence committed in the course of the same transactions or
arising out of the same fact or facts in relation to the said case. There is no
provision in law under which, while granting consent or extending the powers
and jurisdiction of the Delhi Special Police Establishment to the specified
State and to any specified case any reasons are required to be recorded on the
face of the notification. The learned Single Judge of the Patna High Court was
clearly in error in holding so. If investigation by the local police is not
satisfactory, a further investigation is not precluded. In the present case the
material on record shows that the investigation by the local police had not
satisfactory. In fact the local police had filed a final report before the
Chief Judicial Magistrate Dhanbad. The report, however, was pending and had not
been accepted when the Central Government with the consent of the State
Government issued the impugned notification. As a result. the C.B.I. has been
directed to further investigate the offences registered under the said F.I.R.
with the consent of the State Government and in accordance with law.
Section 173 (8) of the Cr.P.C. 1973 also, there is an analogous provision for
further investigation in respect of an offence after a report under sub-section
(2) has been forwarded to the Magistrate.
fail to see any requirement of law under which the reasons for further
investigation by the C.B.I. are required to be recorded in the notifications of
the kind in question.
reasons can be shown independently.
appeal is, therefore, allowed and the impugned judgment and order of the Single
Judge of the Patna High Court is set aside and the writ petition is dismissed.