[NDPS] Mere Deficiencies In Investigation Or Chinks In Prosecution Case Can’t Be Sole Basis For Concluding Bias By Investigating Officer: SC [Read Judgment]

first_imgTop Stories[NDPS] Mere Deficiencies In Investigation Or Chinks In Prosecution Case Can’t Be Sole Basis For Concluding Bias By Investigating Officer: SC [Read Judgment] LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK26 Oct 2020 6:09 AMShare This – xMere deficiencies in investigation or chinks in the prosecution case can’t be the sole basis for concluding bias, the Supreme Court has observed while upholding conviction of the accused in an NDPS case.In this case, the accused was acquitted by the Trial Court. The High court, allowed the appeal of the state, and convicted the accused. Before the Apex Court, the contention of…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginMere deficiencies in investigation or chinks in the prosecution case can’t be the sole basis for concluding bias, the Supreme Court has observed while upholding conviction of the accused in an NDPS case.In this case, the accused was acquitted by the Trial Court. The High court, allowed the appeal of the state, and convicted the accused.  Before the Apex Court, the contention of the accused was that the  investigation by the complainant himself would be contrary to the scheme of the NDPS Act, thus jeopardizing the entire trial. The court, taking note of the recent Constitution Bench Judgment in Mukesh Singh vs. State  observed that it is necessary to demonstrate that there has either been actual bias or there is real likelihood of bias, with no sweeping presumption being permissible. It noted that the earlier position of law which allowed the solitary ground of the complainant also being the investigating officer, to become a spring board for an accused to be catapulted to acquittal, has been reversed. The bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, Surya Kant and Hrishikesh Roy said:”Although in some cases, certain actions (or lack thereof) by the Investigating Officer might indicate bias; but mere deficiencies in investigation or chinks in the prosecution case can’t be the sole basis for concluding bias. The appellants have at no stage claimed that there existed any enmity or other motive for the police to falsely implicate them and let the real culprits walk free. Further, such a huge quantity of charas could not have been planted against the appellants by the police on its own”Another contention raised was that about the failure of police to investigate the alternate theory proffered at the stage of Section 313 CrPC. The accused contended that the same has caused serious prejudice to them. It escapes our comprehension how non investigation of a defence theory disclosed only at an advanced stage of trial, could indicate bias on part of the police, the bench said while rejecting this contention.The court also added that non examination of independent witnesses would not ipso facto entitle one to seek acquittal. Another contention of the accused was that the High Court erred in not considering non­compliance with Section 50 of the NDPS Act at the stage of appeal. While dismissing the appeal, the bench observed:”As held in State of Himachal Pradesh v. Pawan Kumar , the safeguards for search of a person would not extend to his bag or other article being carried by them. Given how the narcotics have been discovered from a backpack, as per both the prosecution and defence versions, there arises no need to examine compliance with Section 50 of NDPS Act.”Case: Rajesh Dhiman  vs. State of Himachal Pradesh [CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1032 of 2013]Coram: Justices NV Ramana, Surya Kant and Hrishikesh RoyClick here to Read/Download JudgmentRead JudgmentNext Storylast_img

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