BY- MONIKA SHEORAN
The Supreme Court stated in a decision issued on Friday that a High Court (HC) cannot rely on a “draft charge-sheet” that has yet to be presented to the Magistrate to quash criminal proceedings under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
A High Court (HC) cannot order an investigative agency to bring an investigation report before it, nor can it cancel a criminal proceeding under Section 482 of Criminal Procedure code based on such a report if the report has not been presented to the Magistrate, according to the bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna.
On the basis of a complaint, the Gandhigram Police Station in Rajkot filed an FIR against the accused under Sections 465, 467, 468, and 120B of the IPC. The High Court (HC) ordered that the inquiry be continued, but that the charge sheet be issued only with its consent, in response to a petition filed by some of the defendants under Section 482 CrPC. The HC was presented with a draught charge sheet for offenses punishable under IPC Sections 385, 389, 418, 477, 506 (2), 120B, and 34. The High Court (HC) canceled the FIR against some of the accused after reviewing the contents of the draft charge sheet.
The Apex Court bench took strong objection to the proceedings of the HC in the appeal. The court stated that under Sections 154 and 156 of the CrPC, the police have a statutory right to investigate a cognizable offense. The proceedings before the High Court (HC) had taken an unusual, if not abnormal, turn, according to the court. The decision also acknowledged several factual features of the case and decided that the High Court’s quashing of the FIR was unjustified.