State of M.P. Vs.
Chunnilal @ Chunni Singh  INSC 764 (15 April 2009)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 943 OF 2003 State
of M.P. ...Appellant Versus Chunnilal @ Chunni Singh - ...Respondent
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT,
this appeal, an interesting point has been raised. A learned Single Judge of
the Madhya Pradesh High Court allowed the revision application filed by the
respondent (hereinafter referred to as the `accused') quashing the order framing
facts in a nutshell are as follows:
On 6.3.2001 a
complaint was made to the Police Station , Rampur Gurra by the victim stating
that the accused promised her that he will marry her and committed sexual
intercourse with her due to which she was carrying a pregnancy of 7 months. But
he refused to marry her because she belongs to a lower caste. A criminal case
was registered for alleged commission of offence punishable under Sections 376
and 506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in short the `IPC') and Section
3(1)(xii) of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities)
Act, 1989 (in short the `Act'). A First Information Report was registered.
According to the
appellant, since at that time nobody had joined the post of Deputy
Superintendent of Police , Hoshangabad Additional Superintendent of Police
authorized S.I. B.S. Parihar to investigate into the case who undertook
inspection and recorded the statement of the witnesses. After due verification
of the case by the Additional Superintendent of Police challan was submitted to
the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Hoshangabad. The accused filed objections and
written reply was filed by the investigating officer. The basic grievance was
that the investigating officer was not authorized to make investigation in the
absence of any authorization by the competent authority.
The stand taken
before the High Court by the investigating officer was that he had been
authorized by the competent authority i.e. Additional Superintendent of Police.
The learned Chief Judicial Magistrate committed the case to the Court of
Sessions. Here again, the only objection of the accused was that the
investigation was carried out by an officer who was not competent to do so.
Judge, (Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes) Hoshangabad passed an order
framing the charges against the accused who filed a revision petition under
Sections 397 and 401 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (in short the
`Code') for quashing the entire criminal proceedings by revision of the order
of learned special judge. A reply was filed by the prosecuting agency
contending that the investigation was carried out under the supervision of
Additional Superintendent of Police since the post of Deputy Superintendent of
Police was lying vacant for about 4 months. After verification of the
statements of the prosecution witnesses and on being satisfied with the
materials collected during investigation the Additional Superintendent of
Police prepared the challan and filed the same before the High Court. No
prejudice was caused to the accused. The High Court quashed the entire
C.D. Singh, learned counsel for the appellant submitted that the approach of
the High Court was clearly erroneous. The offence related to both under the IPC
and the Act. Therefore, the High Court was not justified in quashing the entire
counsel for the respondent on the other hand supported the judgment.
appreciating the rival submissions, reference needs to be made to Section 9 of
the Act and Rule 7 of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of
Atrocities) Rules, 1995 (hereinafter referred to as the `Rules').
Section 9 of the act
and Rule 7 of the Rules read as follows:
9-Conferment of powers.-- (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the code or
in any other provision of this Act, the State Government may, if it considers
it necessary or .
expedient so to so,-
(a) for the prevention of coping with any offence under this act, or (b) for
any case of class of group of cases under this Act, in any district or part
thereof, confer, by notification in the Official Gazette, on any officer of the
State Government the powers exercisable by a police officer under the Code in such
district or part thereof or, as the case may be, for such case or class or
group of cases, and in particulars, the powers of arrest, investigation and
prosecution of persons before any Special Court.
(2) All officers of
police and all other officers of Government shall assist the officer referred
to in Sub-section (1) in the execution of the provisions of this Act or any
rule, scheme or order made thereunder.
(3) The provisions of
the Code shall, so far as may be, apply to the exercise of the powers by an
officer under Sub-section (1).
Officer,-- (1) An offence committed under the Act shall be investigated by a
Police Officer not below the rank of a Deputy Superintendent of Police. The
Investigating Officer shall be appointed by the State
Government/Director-General of Police Superintendent of Police after taking
into account his post experience sense of ability and justice to perceive the
implications: of the case and investigate it along with right lines within the
shortest possible time.
(2) The Investigating
Officer so appointed under Sub-rule (1) shall complete the investigation on top
priority within thirty days and submit the report to the Superintendent of
Police who in turn will immediately forward the report to the Director General
of Police of the State Government.
(3) The Home
Secretary and the Social Welfare Secretary to the State Government, Director of
Prosecution, the Officer-in- charge of Prosecution and the Director-General of
Police shall review by the end of every quarter the position of all
investigation done by the Investigating Officer."
virtue of its enabling power it is the duty and responsibility of the State
Government to issue notification conferring power of investigation of cases by
notified police officer not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police
for different areas in the police districts. Rule 7 of the Rules provided rank
of investigation officer to be not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of
Police. An officer below that rank cannot act as investigating officer. The
provisions in Section 9 of the Act, Rule 7 of the Rules and Section 4 of the
Code when jointly read lead to an irresistible conclusion that the
investigation to an offence under Section 3 of the Act by an officer not
appointed in terms of Rule 7 is illegal and invalid. But when the offence
complained are both under the IPC and any of the offence enumerated in Section
3 of the Act the investigation which is being made by a competent police
officer in accordance with the provisions of the Code cannot be quashed for non
investigation of the offence under Section 3 of the Act by a competent police
officer. In such a situation the proceedings shall proceed in appropriate Court
for the offences punishable under the IPC notwithstanding investigation and the
charge sheet being not liable to be accepted only in respect of offence under
Section 3 of the Act for taking cognizance of that offence.
the present case there is no denial of the fact that the accusations related to
offences under both the Act and the I.P.C. The High Court was therefore not
justified in quashing the entire proceedings. The order shall be restricted to
the offence under Section 3 of the Act and not in respect of offences
punishable under the IPC.
appeal is allowed to the aforesaid extent.
(Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT)