Chandra Pradhan Vs. Union of India & Ors  INSC 1262
(7 October 1996)
Verma, B.N. Kirpal
O R D
nature of this proceeding is similar to that of Union of India & Ors. It
was made clear at the outset and reiterated from time to time in this
proceeding to the Revenue Secretary, Director of C.B.I. and the other
Government officials that the orders made in W.P.(Crl.) Nos.340-343 of 1993
regarding the mode of functioning of all the officials equally apply in the
present case also. This is how, we have been assured by the learned Attorney
General, is the mode of functioning of all the officials in the present case
also. It is needless to say that this manner of functioning by them has to
ready reference, an extract from one such order of particular significance is
quoted herein for emphasis. The order is dated 30-01-1996, reported in, 1996 (2) SCC 199, wherein it was said:
facts and circumstances of the present case do indicate that it is of utmost
public importance that this matter is examined thoroughly by this Court to
ensure that all government agencies, entrusted with the duty to discharge their
functions and obligations in accordance with law, do so, bearing in mind
constantly the concept of equality enshrined in the Constitution and the basic
tenet of rule of law: "Be you ever so high, the law is above you."
Investigation into every accusation made against each and every person on a
reasonable basis, irrespective of the position and status of that person, must
be conducted and completed expeditiously. This is imperative to retain public
confidence in the impartial working of the government agencies.
this proceeding we are not concerned with the merits of the accusations or the
individuals alleged to be involved, but only with the performance of the legal
duty by the government agencies to fairly, properly and fully investigate into
every such accusation against every person, and to take the logical final
action in accordance with law.
case of persons against whom a prima facie case is made out and a charge-sheet
is filed in the competent court, it is that court which will then deal with
that case on merits, in accordance with law.
accordance with the directions so given, it has been reported to us that chargesheets
have been filed by the C.B.I. in two cases and the Delhi Police in one case
which they were investigating These cases are :
Kitts' Forgery Case (Chargesheet filed by C.B.I. )
Pathak Cheating Case.(Chargesheet filed by C.B.I.)
Jain case.(Chargesheet filed by Delhi Police.)
view of the fact that chargesheet has been filed under Section 173 Criminal
Procedure Code in each of the above three cases in the competent court, it is
that court which is now to deal with the case on merits, in accordance with
law. Any direction considered necessary for further investigation, if any, or
to proceed against any other person who also appears to have committed any
offence in that transaction, is within the domain of the concerned court
according to the procedure prescribed by law. The purpose of this proceeding is
to command performance of the duty under law to properly investigate into the
accusation of commission of the crime and to file a chargesheet in the
competent court, if a prima facie case is made out. This purpose has been
served in the above three cases, in respect of which no further action in this
proceeding is called for.
this proceeding has come to an end, in so far as it relates to the above three
criminal cases. For the remaining part, it is to continue till the and result
prescribed by law is achieved. The concerned court in which the chargesheet has
been filed has to proceed entirely in accordance with law without the slightest
impression that there is any parallel proceeding in respect of the same matter
pending in this court.
also observe, that the concerned court dealing with the above matters has to
bear in mind that utmost expedition in the trial and its early conclusion is
necessary for the ends of justice and credibility of the judicial process.
Unless prevented by any dilatory tactics of the accused, all trials of this
kind involving public men should be concluded most expeditiously, preferably
within three months of commencement of the trial. This is also the requirement
of speedy trial read into Article 21.
of caution may be appropriate. No occasion should arise for an impression that
the publicity attaching to these matters has tended to dilute the emphasis on
the essentials of a fair trial and the basic principles of jurisprudence
including the presumption of innocence of the accused unless found guilty at
the end of the trial. This requirement, undoubtedly has to be kept in view
during the entire trial. It is reiterated, that any observation made by this
Court for the purpose of the proceedings pending here has no bearing on the
merits of the accusation, and is not to influence the trial in any manner Care
must be taken to ensure that the credibility of the judicial process is not
undermined in any manner.
proceeding is to continue in respect of the remaining matters only which are
of this order be sent to the concerned court in each of the above three cases.