The Supreme Court on Monday has referred to a larger bench to examine whether a criminal court is competent to direct further investigation at the instance of de-facto complainant, in the light of 2009 amendment of the Code of Criminal Procedure that created a right of appeal in favour of a victim.
In this case, the Supreme Court was hearing a Special Leave Petition filed against the Bombay High Court that had dismissed plea seeking further investigation relying on an apex court judgment in Reeta Nag v State of West Bengal.
In Reeta Nag case, it was held that the Criminal Court is not competent to direct further investigation at the instance of the de-facto complainant.
The bench of Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul observed: “That judgment is rendered on the basis of the law as it existed prior to the judgment. By an amendment Act V of 2009 which came into force on 31st December 2009, a right of appeal is created in favour of a victim against the order of acquittal under the proviso of Section 372 CrPC. In the light of the above-mentioned amendment, the scheme of Section 173 CrPC, in our view, requires a further examination. We, therefore, deem it appropriate that this matter be heard by a larger Bench.”