Neetu Kumar Nagaich v. The State Of Rajasthan And Ors.
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 141 OF 2020 decided on September 16, 2020
Bench: R.F. Nariman, Navin Sinha, Indira Banerjee JJ.
The present writ of mandamus was filed by the mother of the deceased Vikrant Nagaich, student at NLU Jodhpur, who was found dead under unnatural circumstances near the railway tracks opposite the University. The petitioner was dissatisfied with the investigation carried out by the Police and alleged that the police had a callous and lackadaisical attitude in investigation. Aggrieved by the closure report filed by the Police, the petitioner among other reliefs filed for mandamus to transfer the investigation to CBI or a SIT monitored by the court.
Whether the court can quash the closure report and order fresh investigation?
Shri Sunil Fernandes, learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that The FIR was registered nearly ten months later, on 29.06.2018, after much persuasion by the petitioner and her husband. The casualness and callousness of the police is reflected from the fact that neither the crime scene was sealed nor necessary investigation was done with promptitude by proper examination of relevant witnesses.
It was also submitted that by the appellants that, this Court on 08.07.2020 directed that the investigation must be completed within a period of two months and the final report be filed in this Court. The investigating officer thereafter in hot haste has filed a closure report which is thoroughly unsatisfactory and raises more questions with regard to the nature of investigation done by him, than it seeks to answer.
Dr. Manish Singhvi, senior counsel appearing for the respondent, submitted that inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 were commenced promptly. There has been no deficiency in the investigation. All possibilities have been investigated and the necessary evidence collected and analyzed.
It was also submitted by the respondents that, despite the best efforts the offenders could not be traced or found. There was no occasion for this Court to either direct further or fresh investigation. The closure report may be allowed to be filed before the court concerned and the law may take its course.
The court while setting aside the closure report for being filed as a hasty action, allowed the writ petition. The court opined that the investigation was surely falling short and that a fresh probe may be required. The court also noted that much time has passed and the matter certainly is of urgent nature. The court thus directed for a de novo investigation and ordered that such investigation must be concluded within a period of two months and a Police report to that effect must be filed before the Court concerned where the matter will proceed in accordance with the law.
1. Dharam Pal v. State of Haryana (2016) 4 SCC 160 – Power of Constitutional Court to order de novo investigation.
2. Pooja Pal v. Union of India (2016) 3 SCC 135 – Power of the constitutional extends to directing reinvestigation