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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Art. 32 of Constitution of India -When Investigation by CBI be order?- Whether the case be transferred to CBI after filing a charge sheet - Apex court held that in view of the chargesheet filed and the departmental action taken against the erring officials, we do not feel the necessity of any further direction in the matter, at this stage. We are, therefore, inclined to take the view that the power of this Court to refer a matter to Central Bureau of Investigation for further investigation, after filing of the chargesheet by the State investigating agency, ought not to be invoked in the present case. Instead, the course of action that would be now mandated by law against the accused Netrananda Dandasena should be allowed to reach its logical conclusion at the earliest. At the same time the investigation that has been kept open against the unidentified accused should be completed without delay. We direct accordingly and cast the responsibility in this regard on the Superintendent of Police, Rayagada. However, we make it clear that the trial of accused Netrananda Dandasena shall not be held up on that count or on any other count and the same shall proceed forthwith and be concluded within the earliest possible time.= SUDIPTA LENKA ... PETITIONER(S) VERSUS STATE OF ODISHA ORS. ... RESPONDENT (S) = 2014 (March. Part)judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41311

 Art. 32 of Constitution of India -When Investigation by CBI be order?- Whether the case be transferred to CBI after filing a charge sheet - Apex court held that in view of  the  chargesheet  filed  and  the departmental action taken against the erring officials, we do not  feel  the necessity of any further direction in the matter, at this  stage.   We  are, therefore, inclined to take the view that the power of this Court  to  refer a matter to Central  Bureau  of  Investigation  for  further  investigation, after filing of the chargesheet by the  State  investigating  agency,  ought not to be invoked in the present case.  Instead, the course of  action  that would be now mandated  by  law  against  the  accused  Netrananda  Dandasena should be allowed to reach its logical conclusion at the earliest.   At  the same  time  the  investigation  that  has  been  kept   open   against   the unidentified  accused  should  be  completed  without  delay.    We   direct accordingly  and  cast  the   responsibility   in   this   regard   on   the Superintendent of Police, Rayagada.   However, we make  it  clear  that  the trial of accused Netrananda Dandasena shall not be held up on that count  or on any other count and the same shall proceed  forthwith  and  be  concluded within the earliest possible time.=

A young law student of Bangalore, who belongs to the State of  Odisha,
has filed the present application  under  Article  32  of  the  Constitution
highlighting what she has perceived to be  a  serious  infringement  of  the
fundamental rights guaranteed by Article 21 consequent to a tragic  incident
wherein one Itishree Pradhan was set ablaze on 27.10.2013 at a place  called
Tikiri  located  in  Rayagada  District  in  the  State  of   Odisha.    The
unfortunate victim of the incident died on 01.11.2013.=
From the resume of facts stated above the following events leading  to
and surrounding the death of Itishree Pradhan would  be  significant  to  be
taken note of.

(i)   Prior to her death the deceased had submitted numerous  complaints  to
      different authorities complaining of different instances of   unlawful
      conduct of the accused and expressing apprehensions  of  harm  at  the
      hands of the accused.

(ii)  Tikiri P.S. Case Nos. 60, 62 and 70 had been registered on  the  basis
      of such complaints against the accused Netrananda  Dandasena  and  his
      family members and chargesheets have been submitted in the said cases.



(iii) The accused however remained at large; no protection  was  offered  to
      the deceased; neither was she posted out of Tikiri.

(iv)  The deceased was set ablaze on 27.10.2013.   Her  dying  declarations,
      three in number, implicates  accused,  Netrananda  Dandasena  and  one
      unknown person as being the perpetrators of the crime  leading to  her
      death.

 (v)  Tikiri P.S. Case No. 92 has been registered  in  connection  with  the
      said incident.  The accused, Netrananda Dandasena has been arrested on
      30.10.2013.  Chargesheet  has  been  submitted  on  22.2.2014  against
      Netrananda Dandesena and the investigation has been  kept  open  under
      Section 173 (8) Cr.P.C. against the other unidentified accused.

 (vi) Two police officials namely Sujit Kumar Say,  Inspector-in-Charge  and
      Muralidhar Pradhan, Assistant Sub  Inspector,  Tikiri  Police  Station
      have been dismissed from service by order dated 05.11.2013 of the Home
      Department, Govt. of Odisha.

(vii) Two officials of the Education Department namely  Dharanidhar  Behera,
      BEO Rayagada and IIC BEO Kashipur were dismissed from service by order
      dated 05.11.2013 of the School & Mass Education Department,  Govt.  of
      Odisha.

(viii)       The  promotion  of  accused  Netrananda  Dandasena   was   made
      alongwith 23 other officials by  an  order  dated  15.10.2013  on  the
      recommendations  of  the  Departmental   Promotion   Committee   dated
      1.12.2012.  He has since been dismissed from service  by  order  dated
      05.11.2013.

(ix)  No material has been unearthed in the investigation  of  the  case  to
      show that Shri Jayaram Pangi, M.P., Karaput Constituency had made  any
      phone calls to the deceased to withdraw the case lodged by her against
      Netrananda Dandasena.

(x)    No  incriminating  material  has  been  found  in   the   course   of
      investigation of the case nor any material has been  laid before us to
      show the involvement  of  any  other  person,  wielding  political  or
      bureaucratic power and influence, in connection with the incident that
      had occurred.

(xi)  A sum of Rs. 10 lakhs as  ex-gratia  payment  has  been  paid  to  the
      parents of the deceased which has been duly accepted.
whether  after
filing of  chargesheet  under  Section  302/120B  IPC  against  the  accused
Netrananda Dandasena and keeping open the investigation  under  Section  173
(8) Cr.P.C. there is any justification to entrust further  investigation  of
the case to the  Central  Bureau  of  Investigation.  
Rubabbuddin Sheikh vs. State of  Gujarat[7],  really,  carries
forward the  law laid down in Gudalure M.J. Cherian  and  Punjab  &  Haryana
High Court Bar Association (supra) which position finds reflection  in  para
60 of the report which is in the following terms :

      “…….Therefore, it can safely be concluded that in an appropriate  case
      when the court feels that the investigation by the police  authorities
      is not in the proper direction and in order to do complete justice  in
      the case and as the high police officials are  involved  in  the  said
      crime, it was always open to the court to hand over the  investigation
      to the independent agency like CBI. It cannot be said that  after  the
      charge-sheet  is  submitted,  the  court  is  not  empowered,  in   an
      appropriate case, to hand over the  investigation  to  an  independent
      agency like CBI.”
   Insofar  as  the  facts  and  circumstances  following  the  death  of
Itishree Pradhan is concerned, in view of  the  chargesheet  filed  and  the
departmental action taken against the erring officials, we do not  feel  the
necessity of any further direction in the matter, at this  stage.   We  are,
therefore, inclined to take the view that the power of this Court  to  refer
a matter to Central  Bureau  of  Investigation  for  further  investigation,
after filing of the chargesheet by the  State  investigating  agency,  ought
not to be invoked in the present case.  Instead, the course of  action  that
would be now mandated  by  law  against  the  accused  Netrananda  Dandasena
should be allowed to reach its logical conclusion at the earliest.   At  the
same  time  the  investigation  that  has  been  kept   open   against   the
unidentified  accused  should  be  completed  without  delay.    We   direct
accordingly  and  cast  the   responsibility   in   this   regard   on   the
Superintendent of Police, Rayagada.   However, we make  it  clear  that  the
trial of accused Netrananda Dandasena shall not be held up on that count  or
on any other count and the same shall proceed  forthwith  and  be  concluded
within the earliest possible time.


whether  any
direction for determination of the liability of any officer or authority  of
the State who had the occasion to deal with the matter is called for?
12.   The events preceding the  incident  of  death,  however,  stand  on  a
slightly different footing.  The same, prima facie, disclose some amount  of
laxity and indifference.  Therefore, even while noticing  that  disciplinary
action has been taken against certain officials of the State, we are of  the
view that the State should hold a detailed administrative inquiry  into  the
matter to ascertain whether any other official or authority, at  any  level,
is responsible for not attending to the complaints, grievances  and  demands
raised by the deceased either  in  the  matter  of  action  against  accused
Netrananda Dandasena or in providing security to her or in transferring  her
from  Tikiri,  Rayagada  District.   On  the  basis  of  the  findings   and
conclusions as may be reached in such inquiry, we direct the State  to  take
necessary action in the matter.  We also make it  clear  that  we  have  not
expressed any opinion with regard to the liability  or  culpability  of  any
official or functionary of the State in this regard.

13.   We accordingly dispose of the writ petition and place  on  record  our
appreciation for the services rendered by the young law student  in  seeking
to vindicate the fundamental rights of the deceased and for the  painstaking
efforts expended by her to uphold the Rule of Law.

              2014 (March. Part)judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41311                     P SATHASIVAM, RANJAN GOGOI, N.V. RAMANA

  REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                         CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
                    WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 957 OF 2013


SUDIPTA LENKA                            ...    PETITIONER(S)

                                   VERSUS

STATE OF ODISHA  ORS.                    ...  RESPONDENT (S)


                               J U D G M E N T

RANJAN GOGOI, J.

1.    A young law student of Bangalore, who belongs to the State of  Odisha,
has filed the present application  under  Article  32  of  the  Constitution
highlighting what she has perceived to be  a  serious  infringement  of  the
fundamental rights guaranteed by Article 21 consequent to a tragic  incident
wherein one Itishree Pradhan was set ablaze on 27.10.2013 at a place  called
Tikiri  located  in  Rayagada  District  in  the  State  of   Odisha.    The
unfortunate victim of the incident died on 01.11.2013.

2.     According  to  the  petitioner,  the   aforesaid   Itishree   Pradhan
(hereinafter referred to as “the deceased”)  joined  as  a  Siksha  Sahayika
(contractual government teacher) in  the  Tikiri  Upper  Primary  School  on
18.06.2011.  As she was facing  difficulty  in  finding  accommodation,  one
Netrananda Dandasena, (now an accused and hereinafter referred  to  as  “the
accused”), who was then serving as  Sub  Inspector  of  Schools  at  Tikiri,
offered her accommodation in his own house.   It appears that  the  deceased
was sexually harassed by the aforesaid accused which led to a  complaint  by
the deceased before the local police on 18.07.2013.  The petitioner  alleges
that no action on the said complaint was taken  by  the  local  police.   On
30.07.2013 the deceased  had  approached  the  State  Women  Commission  and
Odisha Human Rights Commission for intervention  but  the  said  bodies  did
nothing more than to forward her petition to the Superintendent  of  Police,
Rayagada for necessary action.  According to the petitioner, on  31.07.2013,
the  deceased  had  approached  the  Director  General  of  Police  and   on
05.08.2013 she had approached the Superintendent  of  Police,  Rayagada;  on
the same day she had sent a representation to  the  Chief  Minister  of  the
State.  It is also alleged  that  on  the  same  date  i.e.  05.08.2013  the
deceased had filed a complaint  before  the  Collector,  Rayagada  District.
According to the  petitioner  all  the  aforesaid  approaches  made  by  the
deceased to  different  authorities  did  not  yield  any  result.   In  the
meantime, emboldened by the lack  of  any  action  by  any  authority,  some
family members of the  accused  threatened  the  deceased  to  withdraw  her
complaint to  the  police.   The  deceased  retaliated  by  lodging  another
complaint with the police on 19.09.2013.  (date is disputed  by  the  State)
The petitioner has further claimed that from 05.08.2013 till  22.10.2013  no
steps were taken by the concerned authorities to provide the  deceased  with
any security; no action was taken against the  accused  and  no  steps  were
taken to transfer the deceased from her place  of  posting  i.e.  Tikiri  to
another location.  The petitioner has further  alleged  that  on  27.10.2013
the deceased was set ablaze and she was removed to  the  hospital  with  90%
burn injuries; eventually, the  deceased  succumbed  to  the  burn  injuries
sustained by her in a hospital at Vishakhapatnam on  01.11.2013.   Referring
to the several newspaper reports published with regard to  the  incident  in
question the petitioner has alleged that perpetrators of the  crime  enjoyed
political patronage and the accused had  close  proximity  to  a  Member  of
Parliament  and  also  a  minister.   The   petitioner   has   stated   that
notwithstanding the several criminal acts committed, the accused was  moving
around freely; receiving his salary and had even been  granted  a  promotion
in service.  Consequently, the petitioner has sought  a  direction  for  the
transfer of the investigation of the case involving the  death  of  Itishree
Pradhan from the State agency to the Central  Bureau  of  Investigation  and
the monitoring of such investigation by this Court.

3.    The writ petition filed on 12.11.2013 has been  responded  to  by  the
State  of  Odisha  by  means  of  a  counter  affidavit  dated   02.01.2014.
According to the State, on the basis of the complaint dated 18.7.2013  filed
by the deceased against Netrananda Dandasena, Tikiri P.S. Case No. 60  dated
18.07.2013 under Sections 354/409 of the Indian Penal Code  was  registered.
The State, in its counter affidavit, has set  out  in  seriatim  the  action
taken on the  basis  of  the  complaints/representations  submitted  by  the
deceased to different bodies and authorities  of  the  State.   It  is  also
submitted that the complaints lodged by  the  deceased  against  the  family
members of the accused have been acted upon and  Tikiri  P.S.  Case  No.  62
dated 19.07.2013 and No. 70 dated 16.08.2013 have  been  registered  against
the family members of the accused.  In  the  counter  filed,   it  has  been
further stated that in respect  of  the  incident  involving  the  death  of
Itishree Pradhan,  Tikiri  P.S.  Case  No.  92  dated  28.10.2013  has  been
registered and Netrananda Dandasena was  arrested  in  connection  with  the
said  case  on  30.10.2013.   According  to  the  State,  the  promotion  of
Netrananda  Dandasena  was  pursuant   to   the   recommendations   of   the
Departmental Promotion Committee made some  time  in  December,  2012.   The
dismissal of  the  Inspector-in-Charge  of  Tikiri  Police  Station  and  an
Assistant Sub Inspector attached to the said police  station  from  service;
the dismissal of  two  officials  of  the  Education  Department  posted  at
Rayagada and  also  the  dismissal  of  accused  Netrananda  Dandasena  from
service by invoking proviso (b) to Article 311 (2) of the  Constitution  has
also been highlighted as incidents of  consequential  action  taken  by  the
State besides the payment of extra gratia of Rs. 10 lakhs to the parents  of
the deceased.

4.    Shri Suresh Chandra Tripathy, learned counsel for the  petitioner  has
vehemently urged that the present case demonstrates the lack of concern  for
the rights of a young woman who was compelled  by  circumstances  to  accept
employment at a place far away from her home.  She had bravely resisted  the
attempts of the accused, Netrananda Dandasena, to sexually exploit  her  and
mustered  up  courage  to  formally  complain  against  the  accused.   Such
complaints were lodged before the local police station and also made to  the
district police officials i.e. Superintendent of Police, District  Collector
as well as statutory bodies  committed  to  protect  human  rights  and  her
individual  rights  (State  Human  Rights   Commission   and   State   Women
Commission).  The deceased had  even  approached  the  Director  General  of
Police and finally she had approached the Chief Minister of the State.   Her
repeated and frantic pleas failed to evoke requisite response  from  any  of
the aforesaid authorities.  Despite the several  complaints  lodged  by  her
the accused was roaming free.  It  is  the  inaction  on  the  part  of  the
authorities that had emboldened the accused to commit the acts resulting  in
her death.  The sequence of events following the death of  Itishree  Pradhan
have been, according to the  learned  counsel,  equally  appalling.    Apart
from some superficial and knee  jerk  actions  like  dismissing  some  lowly
placed employees from service the investigation of  the  criminal  case  has
not proceeded meaningfully.  Though the accused, Netrananda  Dandasena,  had
been arrested on 30.10.2013 no explanation has been forthcoming  as  to  why
he could not be apprehended earlier.  The  second  person  involved  in  the
incident leading to the death of Itishree Pradhan i.e. the  person  who  had
poured kerosene on her is still at large and  his  identity  is  yet  to  be
ascertained.  According to the learned counsel, all this is  on  account  of
the fact that the accused enjoys political patronage;  he  is  close  to  an
elected Member of Parliament.  It is also submitted that in her final  dying
declaration made in the hospital at Vishakhapatnam, which was recorded by  a
local TV channel, and thereafter telecast, the deceased had named the  Chief
Minister of  the  State  as  being  involved/responsible  for  the  incident
leading to her death.  All such facts  are  stated  in  the  report  of  the
Enquiry Committee of the National Commission of Women which  is  a  part  of
the record  of  the  case.   According  to  learned  counsel,  the  present,
therefore, is a fit case where the investigation should  be  transferred  to
the Central Bureau of Investigation  and  proceeded  with  under  the  close
supervision of this Court.

5.    In reply, Shri L. Nageswara Rao, learned Additional Solicitor  General
who has appeared for the State of Odisha,  has,  at  the  outset,  submitted
that the deceased had  made  three  dying  declarations.   The  first  dying
declaration was recorded at 10.45 p.m. on 27.10.2013 by the Medical  Officer
of the Public Health Centre at Tikiri, the second was recorded at 1.05  a.m.
on 28.10.2013 in the District  Headquarter  Hospital  at  Rayagada  and  the
third on the same day before the Tehsildar, Rayagada.  The  aforesaid  three
dying declarations are to the same effect, namely,  that  the  deceased  was
set ablaze by a person whom she did not recognize and before  doing  so  the
person had asked  her  to  withdraw  the  case  against  accused  Netrananda
Dandasena, which  she  refused.   It  is  submitted  that  the  above  dying
declarations make it clear that two persons are involved in the  crime  i.e.
Netrananda Dandasena and another unknown person who  had  actually  set  the
deceased ablaze.  The learned  counsel  has  submitted  that  on  22.02.2014
chargesheet had been submitted in  Tikiri  P.S.  Case  No.  92/2013  against
Netrananda Dandasena under Sections 449/450/302/120-B of  the  Indian  Penal
Code and the investigation is being kept open to bring  to  book  the  other
person who is alleged to have set the deceased ablaze.  Learned counsel  has
further submitted that on a  conspectus  of  the  facts  of  the  case,  the
persons associated with the incident can be categorized in  three  groups  –
the first being persons who are actually involved in the crime;  the  second
are the officials and bodies  before  whom  complaints  were  filed  by  the
deceased and the third is the person(s) who had allegedly tried  to  protect
the accused.  Insofar as the persons involved in the  crime  are  concerned,
according to the learned counsel,  Netrananda  Dandasena  has  already  been
chargesheeted and presently he is in custody.  The  investigation  is  being
kept open to bring to book the unidentified person who  is  stated  to  have
set the deceased ablaze.  So far as the officials and functionaries  of  the
State, at different levels, who were approached by the  deceased  from  time
to time and who had allegedly not taken proper  and  prompt  action,  it  is
submitted by the learned counsel that the said aspect of the case not  being
relatable to the actual commission of the crime, cannot, in any case,  be  a
subject matter of a reference to the Central Bureau  of  Investigation.   At
best, the aforesaid issue could be a matter of  administrative  inquiry  and
consequential action on that basis.  Insofar as the issue  of  political  or
other influential  persons  shielding  and  protecting  the  offender(s)  is
concerned, Shri Rao has drawn the attention of the Court to the  details  of
the investigation with regard to the allegations of phone calls made by  one
Shri Jayaram Pangi, M.P., Karaput Constituency to the deceased  to  withdraw
her case against the accused. The attention of the Court has been  drawn  to
the report of the CFSL, Hyderabad to which place the seized  mobile  of  the
deceased alongwith the Sim card(s) were sent.  The report, it  is  mentioned
in the chargesheet, is in the negative.  Insofar as the alleged  involvement
of the Chief Minister is concerned, Shri Rao has drawn the attention of  the
Court to the facts found on investigation as  recorded  in  the  chargesheet
which show that the video recording of the statement of  the  deceased  made
in the hospital and telecast on 05.11.2013 being in Odiya was been  sent  to
an Odiya Professor of  Ravenshaw University,  Cuttack and also to the  State
Forensic Science Laboratory, Bhubaneswar  for  transcription  of  the  exact
version of the said statement.  On due  examination  and  analysis,  it  was
found that the deceased in her statement had stated that  “SI  YE”  (meaning
‘he’ in Odiya), amongst others, was responsible for  the  incident.   It  is
stated that the said expression has been understood to  be  a  reference  to
C.M. i.e. the Chief Minister.  It is further  submitted  by  Shri  Rao  that
there is no  material,  whatsoever,  to  even  remotely  connect  the  Chief
Minister to the incident except the fact that the deceased had  submitted  a
written representation dated 05.08.2013 to the Chief  Minister  also.   Shri
Rao has contended that the chargesheet in the case  having  been  filed  and
the matter being before the Court and furthermore  the  investigation  being
kept open under Section 173 (8) Cr.P.C. to bring to book the  other  culprit
there is no reason why the matter should be entrusted to the Central  Bureau
of  Investigation  which  would  virtually  amount  to  reopening   of   the
investigation.  In this regard Shri Rao has relied on the judgment  of  this
Court in Disha vs. State of Gujarat and Others[1] (para 21).

6.    From the resume of facts stated above the following events leading  to
and surrounding the death of Itishree Pradhan would  be  significant  to  be
taken note of.

(i)   Prior to her death the deceased had submitted numerous  complaints  to
      different authorities complaining of different instances of   unlawful
      conduct of the accused and expressing apprehensions  of  harm  at  the
      hands of the accused.

(ii)  Tikiri P.S. Case Nos. 60, 62 and 70 had been registered on  the  basis
      of such complaints against the accused Netrananda  Dandasena  and  his
      family members and chargesheets have been submitted in the said cases.



(iii) The accused however remained at large; no protection  was  offered  to
      the deceased; neither was she posted out of Tikiri.

(iv)  The deceased was set ablaze on 27.10.2013.   Her  dying  declarations,
      three in number, implicates  accused,  Netrananda  Dandasena  and  one
      unknown person as being the perpetrators of the crime  leading to  her
      death.

 (v)  Tikiri P.S. Case No. 92 has been registered  in  connection  with  the
      said incident.  The accused, Netrananda Dandasena has been arrested on
      30.10.2013.  Chargesheet  has  been  submitted  on  22.2.2014  against
      Netrananda Dandesena and the investigation has been  kept  open  under
      Section 173 (8) Cr.P.C. against the other unidentified accused.

 (vi) Two police officials namely Sujit Kumar Say,  Inspector-in-Charge  and
      Muralidhar Pradhan, Assistant Sub  Inspector,  Tikiri  Police  Station
      have been dismissed from service by order dated 05.11.2013 of the Home
      Department, Govt. of Odisha.

(vii) Two officials of the Education Department namely  Dharanidhar  Behera,
      BEO Rayagada and IIC BEO Kashipur were dismissed from service by order
      dated 05.11.2013 of the School & Mass Education Department,  Govt.  of
      Odisha.

(viii)       The  promotion  of  accused  Netrananda  Dandasena   was   made
      alongwith 23 other officials by  an  order  dated  15.10.2013  on  the
      recommendations  of  the  Departmental   Promotion   Committee   dated
      1.12.2012.  He has since been dismissed from service  by  order  dated
      05.11.2013.

(ix)  No material has been unearthed in the investigation  of  the  case  to
      show that Shri Jayaram Pangi, M.P., Karaput Constituency had made  any
      phone calls to the deceased to withdraw the case lodged by her against
      Netrananda Dandasena.

(x)    No  incriminating  material  has  been  found  in   the   course   of
      investigation of the case nor any material has been  laid before us to
      show the involvement  of  any  other  person,  wielding  political  or
      bureaucratic power and influence, in connection with the incident that
      had occurred.

(xi)  A sum of Rs. 10 lakhs as  ex-gratia  payment  has  been  paid  to  the
      parents of the deceased which has been duly accepted.

7.    Two issues arise  for  our  consideration.   The  first-whether  after
filing of  chargesheet  under  Section  302/120B  IPC  against  the  accused
Netrananda Dandasena and keeping open the investigation  under  Section  173
(8) Cr.P.C. there is any justification to entrust further  investigation  of
the case to the  Central  Bureau  of  Investigation.   Irrespective  of  the
above, the second issue that  will  require  consideration  is  whether  any
direction for determination of the liability of any officer or authority  of
the State who had the occasion to deal with the matter is called for?

8.    On the question whether a criminal case in which a  charge  sheet  has
been filed by the local/state investigating agency  can/should  be  referred
to Central Bureau of Investigation for further investigation there  is  near
unanimity of judicial opinion.   In  Gudalure  M.J.  Cherian  vs.  Union  of
India[2] and Punjab & Haryana  High  Court  Bar  Association  vs.  State  of
Punjab[3], it has held that after the chargesheet  is  filed  the  power  to
direct further investigation by Central Bureau of Investigation  should  not
be normally resorted to by  the  Constitutional  Courts  unless  exceptional
circumstances exist either to doubt the fairness  of  the  investigation  or
there are compulsive reasons founded on  high  public  interest  to  do  so.
Vineet Narain vs. Union  of  India[4],  Union  of  India  vs.  Sushil  Kumar
Modi[5] and Rajiv Ranjan Singh ‘Lalan’ (8) vs. Union  of  India[6]  are  not
decisions on the same line as the issue in the said cases  was  with  regard
to the exercise of jurisdiction by the Monitoring  Court  to  order  further
investigation of a case after chargesheet had  been  filed  by  the  Central
Bureau of Investigation  to  which  body  the  investigation  already  stood
entrusted.    Rubabbuddin Sheikh vs. State of  Gujarat[7],  really,  carries
forward the  law laid down in Gudalure M.J. Cherian  and  Punjab  &  Haryana
High Court Bar Association (supra) which position finds reflection  in  para
60 of the report which is in the following terms :

      “…….Therefore, it can safely be concluded that in an appropriate  case
      when the court feels that the investigation by the police  authorities
      is not in the proper direction and in order to do complete justice  in
      the case and as the high police officials are  involved  in  the  said
      crime, it was always open to the court to hand over the  investigation
      to the independent agency like CBI. It cannot be said that  after  the
      charge-sheet  is  submitted,  the  court  is  not  empowered,  in   an
      appropriate case, to hand over the  investigation  to  an  independent
      agency like CBI.”

9.    The position has also been succinctly summed up in  Disha  (supra)  to
which one of us (the learned Chief Justice) was  a  party  by  holding  that
transfer of the investigation to the  Central  Bureau  of  Investigation  or
any  other  specialised  agency,   notwithstanding   the   filing   of   the
chargesheet, would be justified only when the Court  is  satisfied  that  on
account of the accused being powerful and influential the investigation  has
not proceeded in  a  proper  direction  or  it  has  been  biased.   Further
investigation of a criminal case after the chargesheet has been filed  in  a
competent court may affect the jurisdiction of the said Court under  Section
173 (8) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.  Hence it is imperative that  the
said power, which, though, will  always  vest  in  a  Constitutional  Court,
should be exercised only in situations befitting, judged on  the  touchstone
of high public interest and the need to maintain the Rule of Law.

10.   The events relevant to the present adjudication  may  be  conveniently
divided into two compartments – one before the  death  of  Itishree  Pradhan
and the second subsequent thereto.  In this regard  we  would  like  to  say
that all human tragedies, man made or natural, may appear to  be  avoidable.
To understand such phenomenon  as  pre-ordained  is  an  attitude  of  self-
defeat, if not self deception, and therefore must be avoided.  At  the  same
time determination of human culpability  in  not  successfully  avoiding  an
event of disaster must be made by the test of exercise of due care,  caution
and reasonable  foresight.   This,  according  to  us,  is  how  the  events
surrounding the case will have to be judged.

11.   Insofar  as  the  facts  and  circumstances  following  the  death  of
Itishree Pradhan is concerned, in view of  the  chargesheet  filed  and  the
departmental action taken against the erring officials, we do not  feel  the
necessity of any further direction in the matter, at this  stage.   We  are,
therefore, inclined to take the view that the power of this Court  to  refer
a matter to Central  Bureau  of  Investigation  for  further  investigation,
after filing of the chargesheet by the  State  investigating  agency,  ought
not to be invoked in the present case.  Instead, the course of  action  that
would be now mandated  by  law  against  the  accused  Netrananda  Dandasena
should be allowed to reach its logical conclusion at the earliest.   At  the
same  time  the  investigation  that  has  been  kept   open   against   the
unidentified  accused  should  be  completed  without  delay.    We   direct
accordingly  and  cast  the   responsibility   in   this   regard   on   the
Superintendent of Police, Rayagada.   However, we make  it  clear  that  the
trial of accused Netrananda Dandasena shall not be held up on that count  or
on any other count and the same shall proceed  forthwith  and  be  concluded
within the earliest possible time.

12.   The events preceding the  incident  of  death,  however,  stand  on  a
slightly different footing.  The same, prima facie, disclose some amount  of
laxity and indifference.  Therefore, even while noticing  that  disciplinary
action has been taken against certain officials of the State, we are of  the
view that the State should hold a detailed administrative inquiry  into  the
matter to ascertain whether any other official or authority, at  any  level,
is responsible for not attending to the complaints, grievances  and  demands
raised by the deceased either  in  the  matter  of  action  against  accused
Netrananda Dandasena or in providing security to her or in transferring  her
from  Tikiri,  Rayagada  District.   On  the  basis  of  the  findings   and
conclusions as may be reached in such inquiry, we direct the State  to  take
necessary action in the matter.  We also make it  clear  that  we  have  not
expressed any opinion with regard to the liability  or  culpability  of  any
official or functionary of the State in this regard.

13.   We accordingly dispose of the writ petition and place  on  record  our
appreciation for the services rendered by the young law student  in  seeking
to vindicate the fundamental rights of the deceased and for the  painstaking
efforts expended by her to uphold the Rule of Law.



                                       …………………………CJI.
                                        [P. SATHASIVAM]




                                        ......………………………J.
                                        [RANJAN GOGOI]




                                        .........……………………J.
                                        [N.V. RAMANA]
NEW DELHI,
MARCH 12, 2014.
-----------------------
[1]     (2011) 13 SCC 337
[2]     (1992) 1 SCC 397
[3]    (1994) 1 SCC 616
[4]    (1996) 2 SCC 199
[5]    (1998) 8 SCC 661
[6]    (2006) 6 SCC 613
[7]    (2010) 2 SCC 200

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