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P.L. Jalan Vs. Gour Mohan Chandra and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1969CriLJ808
AppellantP.L. Jalan
RespondentGour Mohan Chandra and ors.
Excerpt:
- .....1967 the petitioner filed a complaint against opposite parties 1, 2 and 8 in the court of the police magistrate at alipore alleging similar offences. the learned magistrate sent the complaint to the officer-in-charge of watgunge police station for investigation. the order was made obviously under section 156(3) of the code of criminal procedure. subsequently, it appears, the investigating officer who was investigating the case earlier instituted at the instance of opposite party no. 1 moved the deputy commissioner of the detective department praying that that case as also the case of the watgunge police station referred to above may be investigated by the same officer. on july 20, 1967 d.c.d.d. approved the proposal and directed one sub-inspector seal, the investigating officer of.....
Judgment:
ORDER

T.P. Mukherji, J.

1. Sometime in the year 1966 on information lodged at the instance of opposite party No. 1, the Detective Department of the Calcutta Police took up investigation into a case involving offences of cheating, forgery, conspiracy etc against the present petitioner. In April 1967 the petitioner filed a complaint against opposite parties 1, 2 and 8 in the court of the police magistrate at Alipore alleging similar offences. The learned magistrate sent the complaint to the officer-in-charge of Watgunge police station for investigation. The order was made obviously under Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Subsequently, it appears, the investigating officer who was investigating the case earlier instituted at the instance of opposite party No. 1 moved the Deputy Commissioner of the Detective Department praying that that case as also the case of the Watgunge police station referred to above may be investigated by the same officer. On July 20, 1967 D.C.D.D. approved the proposal and directed one Sub-inspector Seal, the investigating officer of the earlier case, to take up investigation of the Watgunge police station case too. Sub-inspector Seal took up investigation of the other case and in due course intimated the police magistrate of the transfer of investigation I thereof under orders of the D.C.D.D. It is against this order of transfer of investigation of the Watgunge police station case to the Detective Department that the present petitioner moved this Court and obtained the present Rule.

2. Mr. Banerjee appearing in support of the Rule contends that the officer-in-charge of the Watgunge police station having been directed by the police magistrate under Section 156(3), Criminal P.C. to take cognizance of the offence and to investigate into the same, the D.C.D.D. bad no authority to butt in and to transfer the case from him to his own department. This action of the D.C.D.D. is challenged as being in violation of the direction of the learned magistrate given under Section 156(3), Criminal P.C. and as being wholly-illegal.

3. Mr. Chatterjee appearing on behalf of the State refers to Section 551 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and to Calcutta Gazette notification No. 1678G dated March 10, 1958 which made that section applicable to the Calcutta police and contended that the D.C.D.D. being an officer superior in rank to the officer in charge of the Watgunge police station could very well have exercised the same power of investigation in regard to the present case as that officer in charge could have exercised under Section 156 and 157, Criminal P.C.

4. Mr. Roy for the opposite party No. 1 also refers to Section 551, Criminal P.C. and argues that in accordance with the provisions of that Section the D.C.D.D., could very well have exercised the powers of the officer in charge of the Watgunge police station under Sections 156 and 157. Criminal P.C. and in exercise of that power he may very well have withdrawn the investigation from the officer of the police station who had been delegated that power of investigation by the officer, in-charge and then transfer the investigation to another officer subordinate to himself. It was contended that in withdrawing the investigation and in transferring the investigation to another officer, the D.C.D.D., by virtue of his power under Section 551 of the Code did not exceed the powers of the officer in charge of the Watgunge police station. This latter officer, so Mr. Boy argued, had delegated the investigation to a subordinate officer and he himself could have with., drawn the delegation and transferred the investigation to some other officer because a power of delegation implies also a power of withdrawing such delegation. The action of.) the D.C.D.D. in the circumstances of this case did not exceed the powers that the offices in charge of the Watgunge police station could have exercised.

5. The order of a Magistrate under Section 15(5)(3), Criminal P.C. is merely a direction on the officer in charge of the police station to investigate into a cognizable case. With the direction of the magistrate the officer in charge starts exercising his powers under Section 158(1) lot the Code. Under Section 157 the officer in charge is empowered to delegate his own power of investigation to one of his subordinate officers. It is not in dispute that in the present case alter the learned police magistrate had made the order under Section 156(3) of the Code, the officer in charge of the Watgunge police station took up the case and deputed one of his subordinate officers to investigate into it. It was while that ?officer was carrying on investigation of this case, that the Deputy Commissioner, D.D., by virtue of his power under Section 551 of the Code transferred the investigation from him to Sub-inspector Seal of the D.D. I cannot see how in doing that the D.C.D.D., exceeded his powers or how he has erred in any manner in law in that matter.

6. The officer in charge of the Watgunge police station could certainly withdraw the investigation from the subordinate officer to whom investigation had been made over and transfer the investigation to some other officer subordinate to him or to take up the investigation himself. The power of delegation involves also a power of withdrawing the delegation. What the D.C.D.D., did in the matter is to step into the shoes of the officer in charge of the police station by virtue of his authority under Section 551 of the Code and then to with draw the delegation from the delegated officer and to transfer the investigation to another officer. In doing that he merely exercised the same powers as could have been exercised by the officer in charge himself. This action of D.C.D.D., does not in any way involve any contravention of the direction of the learned magistrate. The direction of the magistrate as given by his order under Section 156(8) of the Code was merely a direction on the officer in charge to take up the investigation. As soon as that direction was complied with he haft nothing further to do so far as the progress of investigation itself was concerned. If what happened thereafter did not contravene any provision of the Criminal Procedure Code no objection can be taken to the manner of the investigation or to the personnel carrying on the investigation into the offence. The order of the learned magistrate did never imply that the investigation has to be carried on by the officer in charge of the Watgunge police station personally. With the taking over of the in visitation by the police the rest of the provisions of the Code relating to the investigation would automatically come into operation.

7. In view of what I have stated above, I find no illegality and no contravention of the Older of the learned police magistrate in the matter of the direction of the D.C.D.D., whereby the investigation of the Watgunge police station case was transferred to Sub-inspector Seal of the D.D. That order it should be understood does not mean that there should be a joint investigation of the two cases. The two investigations have to be kept separate and all statements and papers in connection with the two cases have also to be kept separate and the report of the police into the two cases must be founded on materials available in the particular case concerned. The Rule stands disgorged.

8. The records be sent down as expeditiously as possible.


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