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Proceedings U/s 218 IPC Against IO, Witnesses Cannot Be Initiated Merely Because Prosecution Failed To Establish Its Case: SC [Read Order]

Ashok Kini
12 Nov 2019 7:44 AM GMT
Proceedings U/s 218 IPC Against IO, Witnesses Cannot Be Initiated Merely Because Prosecution Failed To Establish Its Case: SC [Read Order]
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The Supreme Court has observed that merely because the acquittal of the accused was premised on the assessment that the prosecution had failed to establish its case, it does not necessarily mean that the investigator and the concerned witnesses ought to be proceeded against for the offence under Section 218 of the Indian Penal Code.Section 218 IPC deals with the offence of public servant...

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The Supreme Court has observed that merely because the acquittal of the accused was premised on the assessment that the prosecution had failed to establish its case, it does not necessarily mean that the investigator and the concerned witnesses ought to be proceeded against for the offence under Section 218 of the Indian Penal Code.

Section 218 IPC deals with the offence of public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture. It reads thus:

"Whoever, being a public servant, and being as such public servant, charged with the preparation of any record or other writing, frames that record or writing in a manner which he knows to be incorrect, with intent to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, loss or injury to the public or to any person, or with intent thereby to save, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby save, any person from legal punish­ment, or with intent to save, or knowing that he is likely there­by to save, any property from forfeiture or other charge to which it is liable by law, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both."

Five persons were arrayed as accused in a Session Trial for the offences punishable under Section 304 read with 201 IPC. While acquitting the accused, the Trial Court, taking note of the fact that the prosecution failed to establish its case, issued a direction to lodge a case against the investigating officers and some witnesses under section 218 of IPC.

The Apex Court bench, while considering the appeal against the High Court order (which dismissed the appeal against Trial court direction) noted that it do not find any material to show that the course of investigation was deliberately twisted or changed to confer any advantage on the accused who were facing trial.

While setting aside the said directions, the bench comprising Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice Vineet Saran said:

The case of the prosecution was based purely on circumstantial evidence and the acquittal of the accused was premised on the assessment that the prosecution had failed to establish its case. That does not necessarily mean that the investigator and the concerned witnesses ought to be proceeded against for the offence under Section 218 IPC. There is no reason why such prosecution be initiated against the aforesaid investigating officer and the concerned witnesses. 


Click here to Read/Download Order

 


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