Power vested in the Constitutional Courts to direct de-novo investigation is not hindered by the commencement of trial and examination of witnesses

Supreme Court: While deciding the question that whether the Constitutional Courts can order de-novo investigation even after the commencement of the trial and the examination of some witnesses, the Division Bench of Dipak Misra and P.C. Pant, JJ., observed that the power of the Constitutional Courts to order de-novo investigation exists and the same cannot be hindered by the commencement of trial and examination of few witnesses, as such power has been vested in the Constitutional Courts to ensure free and fair investigation. Using subtle words, Dipak Misra, J. stated that, “not for nothing it has been said that sun rises and sets, light and darkness, winter and spring come and go, even the course of time is playful, but truth remains and sparkles when justice is done.”

The present case came up questioning the decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court which refused the plea of the appellant seeking a CBI investigation over the death of his wife. The counsel representing the CBI, P.K. Dey argued before the Court that the case of the appellant does not fall under the guidelines laid down in State of West Bengal v. Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights, West Bengal,  (2010) 3 SCC 571.

On perusal of the facts, the Court observed that for a fair trial it is necessary that a fair investigation is conducted. The Court further observed that the power to direct re- investigation should be sparingly given and such decision should be based on the facts of the case. In order to instill the faith and fear of law in the minds of the victim and the accused, it becomes necessary for the Courts to “uphold the truth, which means absence of fraud and deceit in a criminal investigation.” [Dharam Pal v. State of Haryana, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 91 decided on 29-01-2016]

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