Accused not entitled to acquittal merely because the complainant cop was involved in investigation against him: Supreme Court

Accused not entitled to acquittal merely because the complainant cop was involved in investigation against him: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of India on Tuesday, has held that an accused is not entitled to acquittal merely because the complainant, apparently a police officer, was involved in the investigation of the complaint against the accused. The Apex Court bench comprising of Justices V. Gopala Gowda and Uday Umesh Lalit made this observation in Surender @ Kala vs. State of Haryana.

Context

In this case, appellant’s conviction under the NDPS Act, was confirmed by the High Court. The accused preferred appeal before the Supreme Court on the ground that investigation against him was carried out by SI Satbir Singh who himself was the complainant. He relied on the Apex court ruling in State vs. Rajangam.

Megha Singh case

In Megha Singh vs. State of Haryana (this ruling was relied in Rajangam case), the court had held thus “He being complainant should not have proceeded with the investigation of the case. But it appears to us that he was not only the complainant in the case but he carried on with the investigation and examined witnesses under Section 161 CrPC. Such practice, to say the least, should not be resorted to so that there may not be any occasion to suspect fair and impartial investigation.”

Mere involvement of complainant cop not fatal

Distinguishing the facts of this case, with Rajangam and Megha Singh, the Court said that the principles laid down in those cases, does not get attracted in the present case, since unlike in those cases, the extracts of depositions of other prosecution witnesses show that it was not S.I. Satbir Singh alone who was involved in the investigation.

Read the Judgment here.