Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Re-Investigation could not be debarred after submission of Challan

PLJ 2011 Lahore 545
[
Rawalpindi Bench Rawalpindi]
Present: Hassan Raza Pasha, J.
MEER DAD--Petitioner
versus
INSPECTOR GENERAL POLICE--Respondent
W.P. No. 1406 of 2010, heard on 23.4.2010.
Police Order, 2002 (22 of 2002)--
----Art. 18(6)--Constitution of Pakistan, 1973--Art. 199--Constitutional petition--Recommended for re-investigation--Change of second investigation was approved--Challenge the legality and validity of order--Recommendation of P.S.B were approved by I.G. Police and investigation was entrusted (RIB)--Question of--Whether Police authorities were empowered to initiate re-investigation of the same crime for which they had already filed report u/S. 173, Cr.P.C.--Validity--Under Art. 18(6) of Police Order, the law bestows a power on duly constituted board to recommend for re-investigation and if the Board recommended for re-investigation of the case then even after submission of the challan the re-investigation could not be debarred--Petition was dismissed.         [P. 550] A
Duty of Investigating Officer--
----Administer justice--To collect all the relevant evidence pertaining to allegation levelled regarding the crime in issue so as to dig out the truth enabling and facilitating the Court to administer justice between the parties--Held: An investigating officer is not to render any opinion regarding guilt or innocence of an accused person and statutory provisions contained in Cr.P.C. Police Order and Police Rules, 1934 he is only to collect all the relevant evidence and to submit his report before the magistrate so that magistrate can form their own independent opinion regarding sufficiency or otherwise of the evidence and material order to decide whether to take cognizance of offence or not to summon any person to face a trial.            [P. 550] B
PLD 2002 Lah. 470, rel.
Constitution of Pakistan, 1973--
----Art. 199--Police Order, 2002, Art. 18(6)--Constitutional petition--Change of second investigation--Submission of subsequent challan--Not barred--Discretion of Court to admit additional evidence--Alternative remedy--Validity--Holding of successive investigations were deprecated by the Court with intent to avoid undue lingering on the case--How a subsequent challan which almost was completed for submission in the Court of competent jurisdiction can be withheld or brushed aside--Even submission of subsequent challan was not debarred under the provisions of Cr.P.C.--It was entirely discretion of the Court to admit additional evidence if the cognizable of the case submitted to it by the police has already been taken--Complainant can avail an alternative remedy of filing a private complaint--Petition was dismissed.    [P. 551] C
Raja Rizwan Abbasi, Advocate for Petitioner.
Syed Zafar Ali Shah & Syed Ali Shah Bukhari, Advocates for Respondents.
Mr. Abdul Wahid Babar, AAG for State.
Date of hearing: 23.4.2010.
Judgment
Through this constitutional petition, the petitioner has challenged the legality and validity of order dated 14.1.2010 passed by Inspector-General of Police Punjab, Lahore-Respondent No. 1 whereby "second change of investigation" was approved and investigation of the case was entrusted to Mr. Liaqat Ali Deputy Superintendent of Police, Investigation Branch Punjab.
2.  Brief facts of the case, giving rise to the filing of this petition are that the petitioner got registered F.I.R. No. 140 dated 9.4.2009 under Sections 302, 324, 427, 148, 149 PPC read with Section 7 Anti Terrorism Act at Police Station Murree District Rawalpindi with the allegation that on 9.4.2009 at 5.30 p.m. petitioner along with his brother Arshad, Muhammad Irfan and Rashid Sarwar, a taxi Driver were taking tea at Hotel Express Way situated in the area of Samli Bera and were waiting for Faisal to receive money. Imtiaz Bhola, owner of the hotel was also present there. In the meanwhile, Naseer Mehfooz, Waheed Mehfooz, Bashi Khan along with some other accused person came there on one Parado, one double cabin and two corolla cars. They alighted from the vehicles and started indiscriminate firing with their respective weapons and started demolishing the hotel. When Arshad forbad them not to demolish the hotel. Naseer Mehfooz fired a shot with Kalashnikov which hit him on his mouth who fell down and succumbed to the injuries at the spot. Waheed Mehfooz also fired a shot with Kalashnikov which hit on right wrist of Rashid Sarwar-Driver who fell down. Thereafter the accused while boarding the vehicles left the place of occurrence.
3.  Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that after submission of challan before the trial Court the Inspector-General of Police could not transfer the investigation of the case. Learned counsel has argued that superior Courts have many a times disapproved the practice of successive investigation, thus action of Respondent No. 1 being a nullity in the eyes of law is liable to be quashed. Further argued that after Ist change of investigation, the investigation was conducted by the Superintendent of Police and now the investigation was entrusted to the Deputy Superintendent of Police. This fact smacked of mala fide on the part of the police. The act of Respondent No. 1 is nullity in the eyes of law and that the accused party is very much influential and the investigation was transferred to the Deputy Superintendent of Police by giving special task to favour the accused party. Learned counsel further argued that the purpose of the investigation is to collect evidence, which has already been collected and, therefore, no useful purpose would be served by further delaying the matter. In support of his submission, the learned counsel has relied upon Muhammad Nasir Cheema v. Mazhar Javaid and other (PLD 2007 SC 31).
4.  Learned counsel for Respondents No. 5, 6 & 7 as well as learned Assistant Advocate-General, have submitted that there is no statutory bar for the police authorities to embark upon investigation of the case even after submission of complete challan, that the petitioner has only challenged the order dated 14.1.2010 for 2nd change of investigation. He has not challenged the recommendations of the Provincial Sanding Board; that the policehas only to collect evidence far and against of either party and the trial Court will decide regarding the innocence or guilt of the accused; that the police can investigate the matter at any stage of the trial on the availability of fresh material and evidence. They have relied upon Ashiq Ali v. Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Punjab, Lahore and 4 others (2009 PCr.LJ 830), Javaid Iqbal v. Additional Inspector General of Police, Lahore and 4 others (PLD 2008 Lahore 488), Muhammad Naseem v. S.H.O. Police Station Thikriwala, District Faisalabad and 2 others (1997 MLD 1555) and Saddar Din v. Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Investigation), Capital City Police, Lahore and 6 others (PLD 2009 Lahore 585) Muhammad Yousaf v. The State and others (2000 SCMR 453).
5.  I have heard the arguments of learned counsel for the parties and have gone through the record carefully. After registration of the case, the investigation was conducted by the S.H.O. who arrested Muhammad Pervez alias Bashi Khan and challaned to Court whereas Naseer Mehfooz and Waheed Mehfooz accused were declared innocent by the local police. The complainant feeling aggrieved of the investigation carried out by the local police applied to the C.P.O. Rawalpindi for Ist change of investigation and investigation was entrusted to Regional Investigation Branch (RIB) Rawalpindi Region, Rawalpindi. During investigation, conducted by Regional Investigation Branch Rawalpindi, both the accused namely Naseer Mehfooz and Waheed were found guilty. Being dissatisfied with the investigation conducted by Regional Investigation Branch Rawalpindi, an application was moved on behalf of Naseer Mehfooz and Waheed Mehfooz for 2nd change of investigation. Upon the said application a Provincial Standing Board comprising of Deputy Inspector General of Police. Investigating Branch Punjab (Chairman), Senior Superintendent of Police Investigating Branch Punjab (Member) and Deputy, Superintendent of Police Investigating Branch Punjab was constituted under Provisions of Article 18(6) of Police Order, 2002. The Provincial Standing Board recommended the above said case for 2nd change of investigation on the following grounds:--
(i)         As per report of complainant Meer Dad, he along with his brother Arshad Ali, Muhammad Irfan and Taxi Driver Muhammad Arshad were sippling tea at a Tea Stall on main road Murree and waiting for their friend when the accused Muhammad Pervez alias Bashi Khan, Waheed Mehfooz and Nasir Mehfooz along with some other persons came on cars and jeeps, made indiscriminate firing and started demolishing the tea stall. Arshad forbade them to do so on which Nasir Mehfooz fired at Muhammad Arshad killing him at the spot, Waheed Mehfooz fired at Rashid Sarwar injuring him seriously;
(ii)        The local police arrested Muhammad Pervez alias Bashi Khan sent him to judicial lock up and challaned him. The other two accused were declared innocent on the basis of their alibi.
(iii)       During investigation of RIB, the I.O. belied the alibi of two accused, held them guilty, arrested them and sent them to judicial lock up without recovery as the Court declined to remand the accused further.
(iv)       It has been noted that there is difference of opinion between local police and RIB regarding innocence/guilt of two accused.
(v)        There is no solid motive brought on record against the deceased.
(vi)       The owner of tea stall who was witness to the occurrence resiled from his stance.
(vii)      The I.O. also could not trace the accused other than nominated in the F.I.R.
6.  The recommendation of the Provincial Standing Board were approved by the Inspector-General of Police Punjab and the investigation was entrusted to Mr. Liaqat Ali Deputy Superintendent of Police, Investigation Breach Punjab. The main grievance of the petitioner is that the re-investigation of the case is motivated. The pivotal issue in the field is whether the police authorities are empowered to initiate re-investigation in respect of the same crime for which they have already filed report under Section 173 Cr.P.C.
7.  To resolve the present controversy the provisions of Article 18(6) of the Police Order, 2002, is reproduced as under:
"18(6)  Investigation shall not be changed except after due deliberations and recommendations by a Board headed by an officer not below the rank of Senior Superintendent of Police and two Superintendent of Police, one being incharge of the investigation of the concerned district:
Provided that the final order for the change of investigation shall be passed by head of investigation in the general police area who shall record reasons for change of such investigation:
Provided further that the second change or investigation may only be allowed with the approval of the Provincial Police Officer, or the Capital City Police Officer, as the case may be."
8.  Under Article 18(6) of the Police Order, 2002, the law bestows a power on the duly constituted Board to recommend for re-investigation and if the said Board recommends for reinvestigation of the case then even after the submission of the challan the re-investigation cannot be debarred. The job of an Investigating Officer, is thus only to collect all the relevant evidence pertaining to the allegation levelled regarding the crime in issue so as to dig out the truth enabling and facilitating the relevant Court to Administer Justice between the parties. I may clarify here that an Investigating Officer is not to render any opinion regarding guilt or innocence of an accused person and under the relevant statutory provisions contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, the Police Order, 2002 and the Police Rules, 1934 he is only to collect all the relevant evidence and to submit his report before the relevant Magistrate so that the Magistrate or the trial Court can from their own independent opinion regarding sufficiency or otherwise of the evidence and material in order to decide whether to take cognizance of the offence or not to summon any person to face a trial. Reliance is placed on Khizar Hayat and others v. Inspector General of Police Lahore and others (PLD 2002 Lahore 470).
9.  Nevertheless, the re-investigation of a case after submission of the challan cannot be debarred. Reliance is paled on "Atta Muhammad v. Inspector General of Police" reported in PLD 1965 Lahore 734, wherein it has been held as under:
"There is no statutory prohibition in the Code of Criminal Procedure for the police not to embark on a fresh investigation of the case after the conclusion of the first and the submission of the final report whatever the defects in the first investigation or the flaws in the final report given in the wake of it, that might subsequently be detected. The first investigation may be utterly unsatisfactory for many reasons. It maybe due to non-availability of the evidence, or the successful induction of false evidence during the investigation, or the reason may be, the corrupt behaviour of the police officer concerned. To say that the same police officers or their superiors on receipt of further information or on the availability of better evidence cannot revive the investigation already done, leading to a contrary or a varied result, would virtually amount to putting a seal on human errors and frailties once committed whether by design or by inadventence, with no opportunity to make amends, although it be possible to do so. The police, as an agency of the State, should be as much interested as any other agency concerned in the administration of justice, to find out the truth in respect of a crime and lay the whole facts bare for determination by the competent Tribunals as honestly and correctly as possible. The statutory functions of the police and the Courts in this respect are complementary to each other and do not overlap. The facts that the previous investigation had yielded certain results should not act as a hurdle or a deterrent for the police in reaching the truth if additional facts and additional circumstances brought to light help in its discovery. The Magistrate himself does not have the legal powers to direct a further investigation by the police after he himself has taken cognizance of the case and had himself launched an inquiry or trial; but there is no bar for the police to pursue its own investigation and submit their results to the Court to find the guilt or innocence of the accused persons before it becomes too late. There is no bar to the investigation by the police after the submission of a final report under Section 173 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1898, nor is the police not competent to file, if it is so disposed, a second report as a result of its subsequent investigation into the case."
10.  No doubt that holding of successive investigations are deprecated by the superior Courts with the intent to avoid undue lingering on the case but how subsequent challan which almost is complete for submission in the Court of competent jurisdiction can be withheld or brushed aside, even otherwise submission of subsequent challan is not debarred under the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code, however, it is entirely the discretion of the Court to admit additional evidence if the cognizance of the case submitted to it by the Police has already been taken. Moreover, in case of any grievance, the complainant can avail an alternative remedy of filing a private complaint.
11.  In view of what has been discused above, I find no merit in this writ petition, which is accordingly dismissed.
(R.A.)  Petition dismissed.

2 comments:

  1. Dear Sir,

    If we the Police has submitted challan before the Court and the case is fixed for evidence of complainant. In this state of affairs, if we find that the police investigation was defective. What should we do?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Police can submit amended challan at any stage of trial.. +92-333-5339880

      Delete

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