Fair investigation, which is but the very foundation of fair trial, necessarily postulates that the informant and the investigator must not be the same person”. Supreme Court of India

Fair Investigation

The Petitioner, a truck driver had been convicted for the offence punishable under Section 20B)(ii)(c) along with co-accused and separately u/s 25 of NDPS Act for having found in possession of 90 kg of Ganja which was alleged to be concealed in the cabin of the truck. The Hon’ble High Court dismissed the appeal of the Appellant/Petitioner.

The truck driver was aggrieved with the dismissal of his Appeal and being impoverished and having no support from anywhere, he had no arrangement to file Special Leave petition and he apprised our NGO that he was totally innocent and falsely implicated.

RKLAF decided to take up his case and a Special Leave Petition was filed by RKLAF against the impugned Judgment passed by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi and his matter was argued at length by our Managing Trustee Mr. Ajay Garg Advocate and placed reliance on a judgment of a Bench consisting of three Hon’ble Judges of this Court in Mohan Lal vs. State of Punjab [(2018) SCC Online SC 974) to submit that since the investigation in the present case was conducted by the Police Officer who himself was the complainant, the trial was vitiated and as such the petitioner-accused is entitled to acquittal.

Mohanlal Judgment:
SC held: “It is therefore held that a fair investigation, which is but the very foundation of fair trial, necessarily postulates that the informant and the investigator must not be the same person. Justice must not only be done, but must appear to be done also. Any possibility of bias or a predetermined conclusion has to be excluded. This requirement is all the more imperative in laws carrying a reverse burden of proof.”

After hearing our arguments the matter was sent for reference to larger bench for deciding some important issues. Observing that this matter require re- consideration by a Bench of at least three Hon’ble Judges, the bench directed the registry to place the papers before the he Chief Justice of India to constitute a Bench of appropriate strength to consider the matter.

Order was pronounced on 17/01/2019 by Hon’ble Supreme Court.