Confusion over the power of superior officers of police under Section 36 of CrPC cleared

Supreme Court: Dealing with the question that whether the State Police Chief/Director General of Police is empowered to appoint a superior police officer to investigate a crime case registered outside the territorial jurisdiction of such officer, the bench of Ranjan Gogoi and P.C. Pantt, JJ took note of Section 36 of Cr.P.C. and said that such power is to be exercised by the District Police Chief who, by virtue of the said section, is empowered to appoint an officer above the rank of an officer in charge of a police station to exercise the same powers as may be exercised by an officer in charge of the police station, subject to the condition that such superior officer would be competent to exercise powers within the territorial/local limits of his jurisdiction. The Court was of the opinion that Section 36 of Cr.P.C does not debar the exercise of powers by the State Police Chief to appoint any superior officer who, in his opinion, would be competent and fit to investigate a particular case keeping in view the circumstances thereof.

Section 36 Cr.P.C does not fetter the jurisdiction of the State Police Chief to pass such an order based on his satisfaction. It was further held that it is the satisfaction of the State Police Chief, in the light of the facts of a given case, that would be determinative of the appointment to be made in which situation the limits of jurisdiction will not act as fetter or come in the way of exercise of such jurisdiction by the superior officer so appointed. Such an appointment would not be hedged by the limitations imposed by Section 36 Cr.P.C. [State of Kerala v. P.B. Sourabhan, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 217, decided on 04.03.2016]

To read the Judgment, click HERE

5 comments

  • The Court was of the opinion that Section 36 of Cr.P.C does not debar the exercise of powers by the State Police Chief to appoint any superior officer who, in his opinion, would be competent and fit to investigate a particular case keeping in view the circumstances thereof.

  • the bench of Ranjan Gogoi and P.C. Pantt, JJ took note of Section 36 of Cr.P.C. and said that such power is to be exercised by the District Police Chief who, by virtue of the said section, is empowered to appoint an officer above the rank of an officer in charge of a police station to exercise the same powers as may be exercised by an officer in charge of the police station.

  • Section 36 Cr.P.C does not fetter the jurisdiction of the State Police Chief to pass such an order based on his satisfaction. It was further held that it is the satisfaction of the State Police Chief, in the light of the facts of a given case, that would be determinative of the appointment to be made in which situation the limits of jurisdiction will not act as fetter or come in the way of exercise of such jurisdiction by the superior officer so appointed.

  • The Court was of the opinion that Section 36 of Cr.P.C does not debar the exercise of powers by the State Police Chief to appoint any superior officer who, in his opinion, would be competent and fit to investigate a particular case keeping in view the circumstances thereof.I hope it reaches your targetted audience. all the best thank you

  • It was further held that it is the satisfaction of the State Police Chief, in the light of the facts of a given case, that would be determinative of the appointment to be made in which situation the limits of jurisdiction will not act as fetter or come in the way of exercise of such jurisdiction by the superior officer so appointed.
    I hope it reaches your targetted audience. all the best thank you…

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