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No Further Inquiry Or Reinvestigation Of A Case By Another Agency May Be Ordered By The Home Secretary: High Court

sahithi reddy ,
  16 May 2023       Share Bookmark

Court :
In The Supreme Court Of India
Brief :

Citation :
Criminal Appeal No. 1294 Of 2023


Bohatie Devi (Dead) Through LR Versus The State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors




M.r.shah,C.t. Ravikumar


Petitioner:Bohatie Devi (Dead) Through LR

Respondent:The State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors


The Supreme Court has ruled that the Secretary of the Home cannot order for additional inquiry or reinvestigation by any agency other than the officer in charge of the concerned Police Station and/or his higher officer under Section 173(3) read with Section 158 of the CrPC.


  • The evidence shows that the appellant's kid was slain by an unidentified assailant. The informant filed a FIRabouto about the incident. The inquiry was conducted by the Inspector of Police in Baraut, District of Baghpat, who on March 1, 2015, filed accusations against two people, and on March 31, 2015, the Magistrate took notice of the charges.
  • Later, the District Crime Branch took over the investigation. On December 2, 2016, a supplemental charge sheet was submitted against two defendants (respondents nos. 8 and 11).
  • Respondent No. 8 petitioned the High Court for the dismissal of the entire criminal case as well as the charge sheet from December 2, 2016, but the High Court denied the petition in an order dated July 5, 2017.
  • Angered by the aforementioned High Court ruling, Respondent No. 8 filed an SLP with the Supreme Court, but it was rejected by an order dated August 24, 2018, and the temporary restraining order was subsequently revoked.
  • By order dated September 9, 2018, the CJM of Baghpat issued a non-bailable warrant against Respondent No. 8.
  • The mother of Respondent No. 8 applied with the Secretary (Home), State of U.P. on January 23, 2019, requesting that the investigation be transferred to CBCID. She claimed that because Respondent No. 8 had been charged based on the testimony of two witnesses who were detained, it was impossible to believe what they had to say.
  • By order dated February 13, 2019, the Secretary (Home), State of U.P. requested that CBCID conduct an additional investigation.
  • A writ case brought before the Allahabad High Court contested the Secretary (Home)'s directive transferring the inquiry to CBCID.
  • The High Court dismissed the writ petition in the impugned judgment and order by noting that the Secretary of Home had requested further investigation after notifying the Magistrate and that there was no defect in the order he had issued.
  • The High Court's contested decision and order were challenged before the Supreme Court in the current appeal.


  • Senior Attorney Vibha Datta Makhija argued on behalf of the appellant that the Secretary of Homeland Security was not authorized by law to move the investigation after the charge sheet was issued, at the request of the mother of one of the defendants.
  • It was further argued that the defenses of the accused that must be taken into account during the course of the trial were the basis for the request to transfer the investigation to CBCID, and that the subsequent investigation by CBCID effectively exonerated the accused who are charged in the supplementary chargesheet and would have the effect of voiding the chargesheet.
  • The Senior Counsel argued that because the Investigating Officer (IO) only informed the Magistrate about the transfer of the investigation after the Secretary (Home) made the decision and issued the order to do so, Section 173(8) of the CrPC cannot be said to have been followed.


  • The AAG, Ardhendumauli Kumar Prasad, speaking on behalf of the State argued that there is sufficient evidence to warrant further investigation and that the Secretary of Home made no mistakes in directing CBCID to conduct additional research to uphold the rights of all parties, including the accused.
  • For the respondents-accused people, Senior Counsels S. Nagamuthu and Shri Rameshwar Singh Malik argued that Section 173(8) of the Criminal Procedure Code allows the IO to continue the investigation without the need for the Magistrate's consent. It was also argued that the IO has the right to a further inquiry under Section 173(8) of the Criminal Procedure Code.


  • The Court stated that this matter is not one requiring additional inquiry, but rather a reinvestigation by a different agency.
  • The Court observed:"The order passed by the Secretary of Home transferring the investigation/ordaining further investigation by another agency and that too based on the application/complaint submitted by mother of the accused is unknown to law," the statement reads.
  • The Court also emphasised that in order to conduct a reinvestigation, the Magistrate's prior consent is necessary.
  • "In the current matter, the Secretary (Home) has issued a directive for CBCID to conduct additional inquiry, and CBCID has subsequently forwarded the intimation to the learned Magistrate. The learned Magistrate has not granted any prior consent or permission, as noted by the High Court. In the contested judgment and order, the High Court made the factually inaccurate observation that the Magistrate had approved the further investigation. The Court pointed out that "what is on record is just a hint to the learned Magistrate and in any instance cannot be considered to constitute the learned Magistrate's concurrence.
  • According to the Court's opinion, the investigating officer, a police officer from the involved police station, is required by the CrPC to investigate or further investigate the matter while being supervised by the superintendent of police.
  • The Court further stated that if such authority is granted to the Secretary of Homeland Security, any accused person who has already been charged with a crime may approach the Secretary of Homeland Security and request an order for additional investigation or reinvestigation by a different agency, which would result in a new report that would throw out the original charge sheet and grant the accused person's discharge.
  • Where a superior officer of police has been appointed under Section 158, the report must be submitted through that officer, who may then direct the officer in charge of the police station to conduct additional research while waiting for the Magistrate's orders, according to Section 173(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code.
  • The Secretary of Home is not permitted to order for additional inquiry or reinvestigation by another agency, according to Section 173(3) read with Section 158, the Court noted.
  • As a result, the Court revoked the High Court's contested judgment and decision as well as the Secretary of State for the U.P 's order from February 13 instructing CBCID to conduct a new inquiry.

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