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Supreme Court has restricted the power of the High Court in transferring the cases to Central Bureau of Investigation and said that it should be used reasonably

Kavya Sharma ,
  14 March 2023       Share Bookmark

Court :
THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Brief :

Citation :
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.634 OF 2023

CAUSE TITLE:

Royden Harold Buthello & Anr V. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors

DATE OF ORDER:

February 28, 2023

JUDGE(S):

HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE A.S. Bopanna

PARTIES:

Appellant: Royden Harold Buthello & Anr

Respondent: State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.

SUBJECT:

The Hon’ble Supreme Court (hereinafter referred to as ‘Supreme Court’ or ‘the Court’), has noted that only when there is no other choice and no chance of having fair trial then in that case the High Court should transfer the suit to the expert agency for the administration of justice.   

IMPORTANT PROVISIONS:

Indian Constitution 

  • Article 226 – states that High Court have the power to issue order and writs against any authority, person or government. 

BRIEF FACTS:  

  • High Court passed an order on rejecting the Writ petition where the appellant has requested that the investigation must be directed to the CBI and quashing of the charge sheet filed by the respondent was prayed. 
  • The allegation was such that the accused was arrested with the possession of 9.2 grams of cocaine. The accused was travelling with respect to his business purpose where there was illegal abduction and detention by the police authorities. During this course of action he was charged under NDPS where his father filed an online complaint. Therefore the accused pleased the court to exercise its authoritative power in forwarding the case to CBI. 
  • The present appeal has been filed by the accused against the judgment of the High Court

QUESTIONS RAISED:

Whether the appellate court has the authority to forward the case to CBI in certain situation?

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE APPELLANT

  • The council argues that there is violation of personal liberty and there is unlawful restriction on carrying of the business activity by the state. 
  • The accused was under illegal custody upon which it was prayed that the investigation should be carried out by CBI. 

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE RESPONDENT

  • The council pointed that that it was discovered during the investigation that the accused was engaged in unlawful activities in Raipur when he was arrested and that proceedings had already been started. 
  • The council also argues that accused is a habitual offender therefore whether such serious offences should be investigated by CBI.
  • It was further argued that the claim based on a CBI probe lacks merit and violates established legal precedent.

ANALYSIS BY THE COURT:

  • The court noted that the court should be precise in using its discretionary power while transferring the case to specialised authority. 
  • The court found that there are no pressing issues that call for a CBI probe to be carried out in order to be discovered.
  • The five officers named by the accused would be present for cross-examination during the trial, and additional orders in that respect can be requested in the on-going proceedings.
  • The appellant would be allowed to present his case when the statement required by Section 313 of the CrPC is recorded because the trial is still in process, and he would also be allowed to present evidence, if necessary. 
  • Therefore High Court is right in not exercising its power of transferring the case to CBI as it will not be justified.

CONCLUSION

In the above case the power of transferring the suit to any specialised agency is seen as an extraordinary power and such power should be used in a particular manner. 

The Supreme Court specified that, such power to be used in exceptional cases where the court is of the opinion that there is no way to achieving fair trial or justice without CBI or any such specialised investigating authority’s intervention and expertise.  

It was noted by the court while giving the order that in case when the accused is really framed of any such allegation then there are other remedies available to him for loss of reputation, seeking compensation, action malicious prosecution. Accordingly the court emphasised that it will not be justified to transfer the case to the CBI for investigation as it is not required at this stage when the proceeding is still on-going without any disturbance 

Click here to download the original copy of the judgement

 
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