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CBI has pan-Indian jurisdiction to investigate a matter assigned to it by the Supreme Court: SC

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While denying the request for special permission attacking the order of the High Court of Punjaband Haryana to maintain the branch of the CBI, the jurisdiction of Jammu and Kashmir to investigate the cases of “mass cremation of dead bodies not identified by Punjab Police ”, the Supreme Court observed orally on Friday that when the CBI is appointed & appointed by order of the Supreme Court, then jurisdiction is vested in them across India to investigate this case.

The case was brought before the judiciary Judges AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar.

“Once this court has appointed CBI to investigate a crime, jurisdiction is vested in the court order and not the law as such. When CBI is appointed and appointed by court order, then jurisdiction is vested in them across India to investigate this matter, “ Judge Khanwilkar made an oral comment.

Claiming that even CBI was bound by territorial jurisdiction, Senior Counsel Siddharth Dave appearing for the petitioner said:

“On territorial jurisdiction, it’s certainly like Bihar has a case, the Bihar police transfer it to the UP and UP police, then investigate and drop something in Patna, of course there is no jurisdiction over the UP police. CBI is also bound by territorial jurisdiction. “

“The indictment, if it’s filed by someone other than the CBI officer, we can understand this grievance. It is the CBI agent who introduces him, then his place in the office which is irrelevant. There are cases and cases. The investigation is carried out by a single officer. . He is transferred to another location. He comes and presents this accusation sheet here does not mean that he has no authority. It must be authorized by this department. If he has that authority, he can present this indictment sheet. Now, the question of whether this charge sheet is presented by a competent officer is one that can be discussed in the court of first instance and not calling into question the authority of the CBI as a whole ”, added Judge Khanwilkar.

Adding that indictments were only filed by the CBI for cases in accordance with the Supreme Court’s order, the court dismissed the petition.

Case before the High Court of Punjab and Haryana

On February 28, 1997, the CBI registered IPC RC u / s 364/34 in Jammu and Kashmir regarding the kidnapping and murder of a certain Sukhwinder Singh in Amritsar, Punjab. Likewise, other related cases have also been recorded concerning kidnappings and murders of innocent people.

He prepared an indictment and filed it before the special judge, CBI Patiala.

The applicants contested the initiation of prosecution by the CBI, Jammu and Kashmir on the grounds that the FIR should have been registered in accordance with the provisions of Article 154 Cr.PC because the offense had been committed in the territorial jurisdiction of PSBeas, Amritsar district, Punjab state and it was strange that the RC was registered by CBI in Jammu in J&K state and the same is illegal, without jurisdiction and zero abinitio.

It has also been argued that no part of the alleged offense was committed in J&K State, that no CR could have been recorded in Jammu and that an indictment could not have been recorded. being brought before this Court after investigation of the offense and any action taken in this matter was contrary to the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code and the Indian Penal Code was not permitted in J&K State.

The CBI Public Prosecutor argued that a preliminary investigation was registered by the CBI on December 20, 1995 pursuant to the Supreme Court Order of November 15, 1995 in Criminal Application No. 497/1995 entitled Smt. Paramjit Kaur versus. State of the Punjab et al on “Mass cremation of unidentified corpses by Punjab police”.

He also argued that the CR was registered on February 28, 1997 under Articles 364/34 CPI. The Attorney General of the CBI also argued that in order to meet the investigative burden of these cases, this case was registered with the CBI, SIU.XVI / JMU under the relevant provisions of the IPC and not under the provisions of the Ranbir Penal Code (as it applied to J&K thereafter).

He further argued that there had been no illegality on CBI’s part since the CBI Special Judge had jurisdiction to try all cases concerning the State of Punjab as the incident had occurred in the State of Punjab and that Challan had been rightly brought before this tribunal. territorially competent to judge the present case.

The Special Judge, CBI, Patiala dismissed the petitioner’s request for the charges to be dropped on CBI, which does not have territorial jurisdiction to register the case and conduct the trial.

Injured, the applicants applied to the High Court.

The unique bench of the High Court of Judge Arvind Singh Sanghwan on September 2, 2021, while upholding the judgment of the court of first instance, observed that,

“The Court of First Instance rightly decided that the question of the jurisdiction of the SIU-XVI branch, Jammu, to conduct the investigation and it cannot be said to be incompetent as it was ordered by the Supreme Court of the Honorable the Director, The CBI will first appoint a high-level team to investigate the facts, and then, in terms of the direction to be given to the investigation, register the cases if necessary, conduct an investigation and will proceed in accordance with the law on the basis of the elements gathered during the investigation. ”

Noting that the Supreme Court had conferred power on the Director of the CBI, the High Court, while dismissing the petition, said that the subsequent letter issued by the Director on February 9, 1997 conferring jurisdiction on the SIU-XVI branch could not no way to be illegal.

Case title: Dharam Singh and Ors v. CBI | SLP (Crl) 7228/2021


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