Disha Vs. State of
Gujarat & Ors.
J U D G M E N T
Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN, J.
writ petition has been filed for seeking the directions that investigations into
the financial transactions of the petitioner's late husband Shri Deven Malviya
and his associates through various firms, and the mysterious cause of her husband's
death in Hotel Marriott, Senapati Bapat Road, Pune be transferred to Central Bureau
of Investigation (hereinafter called CBI) under Section 173 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as Cr.P.C.); and further to
hand over all complaints made by various investors against the firms owned by
her family members to the CBI for investigation.
and circumstances giving rise to this case are as under:
A. Petitioner indulged herself
in commercial/business activities alongwith her husband late Deven Malviya, particularly
in share broking in the name and style of M/s Disha Credit and Marketing Services
alongwith one another partner Mr. Ajay Gandeja in Nagpur from 1998 to 2004.
B. Late Mr. Deven
Malviya, for certain reasons, shifted from Nagpur to Pune and started his own
share broking business in the year 2007. Petitioner's husband and his maternal uncle
namely, Shri Narendra Dhruv and his sons started share broking business in Rajkot
in the name of M/s Vision Equities and Commodities and subsequently at Ahmedabad
also. In 2008, another firm was constituted in the name of Vibrant Equities and
Commodities, of which the petitioner was the proprietor.
C. During that period, i.e.,
between 2008 and 2010, petitioner's husband, his maternal uncle and his sons
appointed a large number of agents/franchises for their firms all over Gujarat
and the said agents collected a huge amount from large number of persons/investors
giving them assurance that their money would be multiplied within a short span
D. On 28.12.2010, Late Deven
Malviya, petitioner's husband checked in Hotel Marriott at Senapati Bapat Marg,
Pune in a Room on 20th floor. He jumped from 22nd floor of Hotel Marriott at
11.30 a.m. on 30.12.2010 and died spontaneously. The matter of death of petitioner's
husband is being investigated by Chhatushingi Police Station, Pune.
E. An FIR No. CR No. 1-18/2011
was lodged on 12.1.2011 at Gandhigram Police Station in Rajkot under Sections 406,
420 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (hereinafter called IPC) by the complainant
with the allegations that the partners/ agents/franchises of the firm owned by
the petitioner herself had given fake promises to the complainant and other
investors that they would get Rs.1,40,000/- in return of their investment of
Rs.1,00,000/- within a short stipulated period. But the investors could not get
any amount. The accused persons in conspiracy with each other made a fraudulent
scheme duping the innocent investors.
F. The police filed a charge
sheet against 13 accused persons including the petitioner after examining 23
witnesses. Seven accused have already been arrested and further investigation
is in progress for obtaining the Forensic Science Laboratory report in
connection with the seized Muddamaal (Crime property, e.g. Computer, CPU, Hard disk
etc.). According to investigation held, so far, it is evident that the investors
have been duped by petitioner's Firms for a sum of Rs.60 crores.
grounds on which the transfer is sought are as follows: (1) Petitioner will face
acute harassment owing to the number of investors.(2) Petitioner likely to be victimised,
and all associates, agents, partners would suppress material information
fastening all charges on her to save themselves.(3) Number of scattered complaints
would lead to uncoordinated investigation and not uncovering the truth.(4)
Death in most suspicious circumstances since the alleged scam involves politicians,
bureaucrats and influential business men who could have abetted the suicide
since they invested crores of rupees.(5) Petitioner is interested in finding
out the truth.(6) Interference needed for putting the investigations on proper
track relating to the death of the husband/deceased and for enquiry into scam
by CBI.(7) To avoid botch up in investigation due to prevailing corruption.
Shri A.K. Sanghi, learned Senior counsel for the petitioner, Shri H.P. Rawal,
learned ASG for CBI, Shri N. Nanavati, 4learned counsel for the State of Gujarat
and Shri Sanjay Kharde, learned counsel for the State of Maharashtra. So far as
the case of suicide of petitioner's husband is concerned, the respondent No.2,
Maharashtra police, is investigating the matter. During the investigation,
three suicidal notes in the hand-writing of the deceased have been recovered. Father
of the deceased identified the hand-writing of Deven Malviya, the deceased and investigation
is going on. However, according to the investigation so far conducted it
appears to be a plain and simple case of suicide, may be because of pressure of
investors in his commercial activities. He was facing large number of demands from
investors who could not even get back the principal amount, what to talk of multiplied
amount or compounded interest etc. as assured by their agents and collectors/franchises.
Therefore, he could not stand the pressure of his commitments, and as the angry
investors were reported to have forcibly demanded their money back and had seized
the documents of sale of house and office properties from his maternal uncle at
petitioner did not render any assistance whatsoever to the Maharashtra Police
in investigation of the said case, nor has she raised any grievance before this
court that the investigation conducted by the 5Maharashtra Police is not fair,
though she is fully aware that the firms owned by the petitioner and her family
members/relatives had collected huge amount from investors which had not been
returned to them as promised and they had been pressing hard for recovery of their
amount. In such circumstances, naturally a person will be under the pressure and
may also commit suicide. However, in view of the fact that the matter is still being
investigated by the Maharashtra Police, we do not think it proper to make any
comment on it.
far as the Gujarat Police is concerned, according to the counter affidavit
filed by the State of Gujarat, only one FIR has been lodged, wherein the investigation
has been concluded and charge sheet has been filed against 13 accused persons
this background, the case is required to be examined as to whether in the facts
and circumstances of the case, where in case of cheating, a charge sheet has
been filed, the matter can, and is required to be transferred for investigation/further
investigation to the CBI.
Kashmeri Devi v. Delhi Admn. & Anr., AIR 1988 SC 1323, this Court held that
the magistrate can direct CBI to investigate a case, after charge sheet has been
filed, by exercising his powers under Section 173(8) Cr.PC. It was stated
accordingly:- 6 "Since according to the respondents charge-sheet has already
been submitted to the Magistrate we direct the trial court before whom the charge-
sheet has been submitted to exercise his powers under Section 173(8) CrPC to direct
the Central Bureau of Investigation for proper and thorough investigation of the
case. On issue of such direction the Central Bureau of Investigation will investigate
the case in an independent and objective manner and it will further submit additional
charge-sheet, if any, in accordance with law. The appeal stands disposed of
Gudalure M.J. Cherian v. Union of India, (1992) 1 SCC 397, this Court however,
held that the power of directing investigation by CBI after chargesheet was
filed, should not ordinarily be used, but only when necessary. The investigation
having been completed by the police and charge-sheet submitted to the court, it
is not for this Court, ordinarily, to reopen the investigation specially by entrusting
the same to a specialised agency like CBI. Same view has been reiterated by this
Court in Punjab & Haryana High Court Bar Assn., Chandigarh through its
Secretary v. State of Punjab & Ors. AIR 1994 SC 1023.
R.S. Sodhi v. State of U.P. & Ors., AIR 1994 SC 38, this Court examined the
case where the accusations were directed against the local police personnel. The
Court held that it would be desirable 7to entrust the investigation to an
independent agency like the CBI so that all concerned including the relatives of
the deceased may feel assured that an independent agency was looking into the
matter and that would lend the final outcome of the investigation credibility. However
faithfully the local police may carry out the investigation, the same would lack
credibility since the allegations were against them.
Court refused to direct the investigation by the CBI, after the charge sheet was
filed in Vineet Narain & Ors. v. Union of India & Anr. AIR 1996 SC
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. (See : Union of India v. Sushil
Kumar Modi, (1998) 8 SCC 661).
on the observations in Union of India v. Sushil Kumar Modi (supra), this Court in
Rajiv Ranjan Singh `Lalan' (VIII) v. Union of India,(2006) 6 SCC 613,
reiterated that the Court does not have the power to direct the CBI to
investigate a matter after the chargesheet was filed.
above three cases i.e. of Vineet Narain, Sushil Kumar Modi and Rajiv Rajan Singh
were differentiated in a recent judgment by this Court in Rubabbuddin Sheikh v.
State of Gujarat & Ors., AIR 2010 SC 3175, wherein this Court held:- "Therefore,
it can safely be concluded that in an appropriate case when the court feels that
the investigation by the police authorities is not in the proper direction and in
order to do complete justice in the case and as the high police officials are
involved in the said crime, it was always open to the court to hand over the
investigation to the independent agency like CBI."
Ashok Kumar Todi v. Kishwar Jahan & Ors., (2011) 3 SCC 758, this Court dealt
with a case in which Kishwar Jahan, mother of the deceased Rizwanur Rahman approached
the High Court to transfer the investigation of his death from local police to CBI
expressing her apprehension that State police would not conduct investigation fairly
because her son had contracted inter-religion marriage with the daughter of a very
affluent and influential businessman, who had very close relationship with high
police officials. She produced sufficient material to establish the nexus between
the main accused and top police officials. This court considering the reasonable
apprehension in her mind about fair investigation by the State CID, directed
CBI to investigate the cause of death of Rizwanur Rahman. (See also: and Narmada
Bai v. State of Gujarat, JT 2011 (4) SC 279).
it is evident that this Court has transferred the matter to CBI or any other
special agency only when the Court was satisfied that the accused had been very
powerful and influential person or State authorities like high police officials
were involved and the investigation had not proceeded with in proper direction
or it had been biased. In such a case, in order to do complete justice and having
belief that it would lend the final outcome of the investigation credibility,
such directions have been issued.
case requires to be examined in the light of the aforesaid settled legal
A.K. Sanghi, learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioner has tried to
convince the court placing reliance on various newspaper cuttings filed as Annexures
submitting that it could be a big scam of thousand of crores rupees, but we are
not impressed by such submissions as the police could find out that the total investments
by investors had been only about Rs.60 crores.
the instant case, the petitioner herself is the accused. A huge amount of Rs.60
crores has been collected from innocent persons giving them false assurances
that their amount would have a high premium. It has not been alleged in the
petition that any of the investor is very powerful or capable to manage the investigation
against the petitioner or that the case of suicide of her husband is not properly
It is no body's case that
the police has unnecessarily harassed the petitioner; rather, the record of the
case reveals that it is only after completing the investigation, that the charge
sheet has been filed against 13 persons including the petitioner. No allegation
of mala fide or bias has been alleged against any investigating authority nor
had it been pleaded that charge sheet had been filed against the petitioner without
investigating the case or having any vindictive attitude towards the petitioner.
In fact, the petition is based purely on mere apprehension by the petitioner. None
of the grounds taken by the petitioner for transfer is tenable.
such a fact-situation, we do not see any cogent reason to interfere in the matter.
The petition lacks merit and is accordingly dismissed. However, in case any action
is taken by the investigating agency against the petitioner, she would be at liberty
to seek the appropriate remedy before the appropriate forum and any observation
made herein, shall not be treated adverse to her.
(Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN)