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Re-investigation under article 226 and s.482 CrPC

Meenakshi Nair ,
  13 July 2020       Share Bookmark

Court :

Brief :
Courts may monitor an investigation into an offence when it is satisfied that either the investigation is not being proceeded with or is being influenced by interested persons. Thereby the appeals in this matter was dismissed
Citation :


1. Art. 226: Power of the High Court to issue certain writs to any person or authority, subject to its jurisdiction.[1]

2. S. 482 of CrPC: Saving of inherent powers of High Court. Nothing in this Code shall be deemed to limit or affect the inherent powers of the High Court to make such orders as may be necessary to give effect to any order under this Code, or to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice.[2]

· S. 482 assumes that the Code of Criminal Procedure is not exhaustive, that is, it is exhaustive with regard to matters specifically dealt with by it, but this does not prohibit any other order which is fundamental for preventing abuse of process and thereby securing justice.[3] It manifests the inherent power of courts to act ex debitojustitiate in order to secure real justice. This provision creates no novel power. It only provides that those powers which is inherently possessed by the Courts is preserved.[4]

The High Court has a wide ambit of power under Art. 226, which is further supplemented by S. 482 of CrPC.

· The power under this section must be used reasonably in the rarest of rare cases. Exercise of power under this provision is not the rule but an exception. That is the inherent power of the Court can be invoked under S. 482 can be applied by the High Court (Art. 226) to:

(i) Prevent abuse of process of any court

(ii) secure the ends of justice[5]

· The Scope of exercise of the power conferred on the High Courts under S. 482 of CrPC and the categories of cases where the court may exercise this power, relating to cognizance offences to prevent abuse of process and to secure justice is set out in State of Haryana v. Bhajanlal[6]

· The High Court in a petition under S. 482 or in a Writ Petition is whether on a perusal of an FIR, treating the allegations to be correct, if an offence is prima facie in existence or not. At this juncture, the correctness or otherwise of the accusations in the FIR is not to be considered by the High Court and will be considered at the trial.[7]

· If an FIR does not reveal commission of a cognizable offence against the accused, then the investigation conducted in furtherance of such an FIR is liable to be quashed. Such an investigation may be quashed by the High Court under S. 482, CrPC or under Art. 226. No such quashing of the investigation would, be made, if by the time the consideration is made by the High Court, materials have been discovered as a result of investigation, disclosing prima facie commission of an offence by the accused. Even in such instances, the investigation could be quashed, if it can be established that the continuance of the investigation could result in miscarriage of justice.[8]

· In the case of Seetha Lakshmi v. State of T.N.[9] Where according to the complaint made to the DIG of Police, cognizable offences were committed by some persons along with some police officers, the DIG was bound to follow the procedure prescribed in Chapter 12 of CrPC. But the same was not followed, and no report was sent to the concerned magistrate, nor was any notice sent to the complainant that there was no case for placing the accused on trial. The report of DIG sent to the DGP revealed that no enquiry had really been held by the Inspector of Police who was in charge of the station, on the ground that there was a civil dispute between the parties. It also showed that inquiry that was held for the sake of appearance was truncated, inchoate and slipshod. The High Court in such circumstance directed the DIG of Police to nominate the DIG of Police (Intelligence) to investigate the complaint in accordance with the law.

· With respect to transfer of investigation under S. 482, in spite of observation of the High Court and specific directions of the Magistrate, the police seems to be highly languid, conducted no examination of the complainant and started investigation and failed to examine the witness and collect relevant material, delayed the matter for a prolonged time, it would be appropriate to transfer investigation to CBI.[10]

· In the case of HasanbhaiValibhai Qureshi v. State of Gujarat and Others[11], it was held that further investigation in totality is not ruled out just because the Court has taken Cognizance. If deficient investigation is identified during trial, it may be rectified through further investigation.

· Further according to Art. 226 of the Constitution and as per S. 482, it can be construed that there is no limitation for the High Court, to invoke Art. 226 and thus, its extraordinary jurisdiction. This it must use to undo the wrong, and take steps to direct further investigation to ensure there is no miscarriage of justice, and thus ensure that a person is entitled to his right to fair investigation.

· Finally, in the case of MithabhaiPashabhai Patel v. State of Gujarat[12] the Supreme Court distinguished the concepts of ‘re-investigation’ and ‘further investigation’. In most situations a Superior Court (High Court) in exercise of Art. 226 can direct a ‘State Authority’ to investigate further into an offence, or direct another agency to conduct further investigation. Giving a direction for Re-investigating, per se, is prohibited by law, and thus such a direction is not issued by Superior Courts.


A) State of Punjab v. CBI[13]

This case deals with S. 173 and S. 482 of Cr.P.C. According to the facts of the case, the High Court had suo moto taken up an issue and notified the State Governments, Senior Police Officers and the DSP to investigate the case and file the status report for the same. The ADG entrusted a Special Investigation Team to investigate the earlier FIR in the issue. As this team was constituted in the absence of the High Court’s Permission, the Court directed the CBI to carry out the investigation in furtherance of justice, by invoking its powers under S. 482. This led to the appellants filing an SLP.

In the instant case, the Court analyzed both the relevant sections. According to S. 173(8), even if the police have filed a challan or charge-sheet under S. 173(2), they can conduct further investigation and not a re-investigation or fresh investigation with regards to an offence under S. 173(8). Whereas on the other hand, S. 482 implies that this Section in CrPC does not affect or limit the High Courts inherent power to make such orders as may be necessary to give effect to any order under the Court or to prevent the abuse of any process of the Court or otherwise to secure justice. The language S. 173(8), thus, cannot limit or affect the inherent powers of the High Court to pass an order under S.482 of the Cr.P.C. for fresh investigation or re-investigation if the High Court is satisfied that such an investigation is necessary to secure the ends of justice. Considering the circumstances of the case, the High Court felt that justice would not be served, if the investigation s was made by the local police and so, directed the investigation of the case over to the CBI. Thus, the Appeal under S.136 was dismissed by the Apex Court.

B) Babubhai Jamnadas Patel vs State of Gujarat[14]

The primary issue in the above-mentioned case was - whether the Courts can monitor investigations in respect of offences alleged to have been committed when the investigating agency had already begun investigation. In normal situations courts do not interfere in the functioning of such investigating agencies. But on the combined reading of Art. 226 and S. 482, it can be construed that the High Court is vested with such powers, though the same are invoked only in cases where extraordinary facts are involved, necessitating such monitoring by the Courts.

“ In cases where it has been brought to the notice of the Courts that investigation into an offence was not being carried on in the manner in which it should have been carried on, directions have been given by the Courts to the investigating agencies to conduct the investigation according to certain guidelines, as otherwise the very purpose of the investigation could become fruitless.”

Therefore, in appropriate cases, the Courts may monitor an investigation into an offence when it is satisfied that either the investigation is not being proceeded with or is being influenced by interested persons. Thereby the appeals in this matter was dismissed

  • [1] Art. 226 of the Constitution of India, 1950
  • [2]S. 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
  • [3] Hansraj, A 1940 N 390
  • [4] State of U.P. v. Md. Naim., AIR 1964 SC 703
  • [5]Som Mittal v. Govt. of Karnataka., AIR 2008 SC 1126
  • [6] State of Haryana v. Bhajanlal.,1992 Supp. (1) 335
  • [7]Swaran Singh v. State., 2008 CrLJ 4369 ( 4370)
  • [8] Suresh Chandra Swain v. State of Orissa., (1988) CrLJ 1175
  • [9] Seetha Lakshmi v. State of T.N., (1991) CrLJ 1037 ( Mad)
  • [10] Goyal Sales Corporation v. State., (2007) 1 MLJ (Crl) 345 ( Mad)
  • [11]HasanbhaiValibhai Qureshi v. State of Gujarat and Others.,(2004)5 SCC 347
  • [12]MithabhaiPashabhai Patel v. State of Gujarat., AIR 2009 SC (supp) 1658
  • [13] State of Punjab v. CBI., (2011) 9 SCC 182
  • [14]Babubhai Jamnadas Patel vs State of Gujarat.,2009 (9) SCC 610
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