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Order For CBI Probe Takes Away Right Of Police To Discharge Their Statutory Duties, Should Not Be Passed In Routine: Calcutta High Court

13 Aug 2022 7:30 AM GMT
Order For CBI Probe Takes Away Right Of Police To Discharge Their Statutory Duties, Should Not Be Passed In Routine: Calcutta High Court

The Calcutta High Court's circuit bench at Jalpaiguri has "unconditionally" stayed a single bench order directing the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe into alleged irregularities in transfer of a government school teacher.

A bench consisting a bench of Justices Bivas Pattanayak and Ravi Krishan Kapur observed that orders or directions on the CBI to conduct an investigation are not to be passed as a matter of routine or merely on the apprehension of a party.

"This is an extraordinary measure and must be exercised sparingly, cautiously and only in exceptional circumstances. In passing such orders, or directions on the CBI, the Court invariably takes away the right from the police to discharge their statutory duties as per law. The purpose of such orders is to instill confidence in the investigation or where an incident may have national or international ramification. Thus, before arriving at any such conclusion, that the investigation is to be transferred to the CBI, the Court must consider the materials on record and arrive at a conclusion that such materials disclose a prima facie case warranting investigation by an independent agency like the CBI."

Santa Mondal was transferred at least three times in one year, allegedly in violation of the rules.

On August 8, Justice Abhijeet Gangopadhyay had directed the central agency, which is already investigating alleged irregularities in recruitment of teaching and non-teaching staff in government schools, to "take up the matter".

The State in appeal contended the direction for CBI probe could not have been passed in absence of a prayer to that effect. Moreover, it claimed that there has been no infraction of any of the statutory Rules and Regulations.

Agreeing with this contention, the division bench held that in absence of any factual foundation in the pleadings being made by any of the parties nor any specific prayer for directing an investigation, the direction on the CBI to carry out an investigation is unsustainable. It was also of the view that such direction has been passed in a routine and casual manner and no reasons were recorded by the trail court in the impugned order warranting the direction on the CBI to conduct an investigation.

It observed,

"Reason is the life of law...A party is entitled to know the reasons for grant or rejection of a prayer. Absence of reasons introduces an element of uncertainty, dissatisfaction and gives an entirely different dimension to the questions of law raised before any Court...Judicial orders must meet the twin test of 'why' and 'what'. It is the 'why' which sustains the 'what'."

The division bench also found lack of contemplation in the order of single bench concerning the issue of locus standi as the impugned order merely recorded that the question of locus was diluted. Moreover, no reasons were provided to justify the finding that Mondal's transfer was illegal.

Case Title : Santa Mondal Vs. Prasun Sundar Tarafdar & Ors. With connected matter

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Cal) 292

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