Hon’ble SC permits CBI investigation in Sushant Singh Rajput’s Case

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 19th August 2020, in the matter of Rhea Chakraborty v. State of Bihar & Ors. while authorising the investigation of Sushant Singh Rajput’s Case by CBI, observed that when truth meets sunshine, justice will not prevail on the living alone but after Life’s fitful fever, now the departed will also sleep well. Satyameva Jayate.

Under the federal design envisaged by the Constitution, Police is a state subject under List II of Seventh Schedule of the Constitution. Therefore, investigation of a crime should normally be undertaken by the concerned state’s police, where the case is registered. There can be situations where a particular crime by virtue of its nature and ramification, is legally capable of being investigated by police from different states or even by other agencies. The entrustment of investigation to the CBI is permitted either with consent of the concerned state or on orders of the constitutional court. However, investigation of a crime by multiple authorities transgressing into the others domain, is avoidable. (Para 9)

Transfer of investigation to the CBI cannot be a routine occurrence but should be in exceptional circumstances. One factor which however is considered relevant for induction of the Central Agency is to retain “public confidence in the impartial working of the State agencies” (Para 13)

It is not for the accused to choose the investigating agency. (Para 13)

The legal process must therefore be focused upon revelation of the correct facts through credible and legally acceptable investigation. (Para 13)

Having considered the contour of the power under section 406 CrPC, it must be concluded that only cases and appeals (not investigation) can be transferred. (Para 17)

Registration of FIR is mandated when information on cognizable offence is received by the police. (Para 23)

[Lalita Kumari Vs. Govt. of UP (2014) 2 SCC 1] At the stage of investigation, it cannot be said that the concerned police station does not have territorial jurisdiction to investigate the case. (Para 23)

While the CBI cannot conduct any investigation without the consent of the concerned state as mandated under section 6, the powers of the Constitutional Courts are not fettered by the statutory restriction of the Delhi Special Police Act, 1946. (Para 32)

The dissemination of the real facts through unbiased investigation would certainly result in justice for the innocents, who might be the target of vilification campaign. Equally importantly, when integrity and credibility of the investigation is discernible, the trust, faith and confidence of the common man in the judicial process will resonate. When truth meets sunshine, justice will not prevail on the living alone but after Life’s fitful fever, now the departed will also sleep well. Satyameva Jayate. (Para 40)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_19-Aug-2020

-Adv. Tushar Kaushik

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