SC cautions courts over interference

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New Delhi, Jun 1 (UNI) The Supreme Court has cautioned the courts against interference in criminal investigation by the police.

A bench comprising Justices S B Sinha and Lokeshwar Singh Panta, while setting aside the judgement of Gujarat High Court under which the High Court had transferred the investigation of a cheating case from one police station to another in Vadodara district on the point of territorial jurisdiction, said,''The jurisdiction of the High Court in interfering with the investigation of a case is very limited and must be exercised with great caution only under compelling circumstances.'' A cheating case was registered on December 23, 2006, and on December 28, 2006, the investigation of the case was transferred from one police station to another simply because the property in dispute was located within the jurisdiction of another police station. The High Court did not even issue notices to the police or the complainant and ordered the transfer without hearing them.

The apex court took serious note of the judges of the High Court and said, ''Such interference in the investigation was totally unwarranted and the transfer was ordered without hearing the state and since both the police stations belong to the same district, no great prejudice would have been caused to either party.'' The apex court was informed that the investigation in the case had already been completed and the chargesheet had been filed. The apex court, however, set aside the High Court judgement and ordered reinvestigation by the original police station from which the investigation was transferred.

The Supreme Court, however, directed the incharge of the investigation of the case to hand over all the papers to the earlier police station along with the statements of the complainants, the accused persons and the witnesses to the police station concerned and the new investigating officer will file a fresh chargesheet in the court.

UNI SC AM RN1855

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