Police can’t close investigation in criminal case: HC

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Oct 11: The State High Court today said the police cannot close the investigation in a criminal case and is required to submit the investigation report to concerned Magistrate for further action.
After investigating a rape and murder case, the investigating team could not trace out the culprits and as such on its own closed the case as untraced. “Whatever be the outcome of investigation, the Investigating Officer concerned, should have forwarded the papers/report in terms of Section 173 CrPC to the Magistrate concerned, who alone should have taken appropriate decision thereon with regard to its closure or otherwise”, Justice Sanjeev Kumar said.
Petitioner’s sister was raped and murdered in 1993 by some unknown persons. Accordingly FIR 39 under Sections 302, 376, 316 RPC was registered in the Police Station concerned and the matter was investigated.
The Investigating Officer after recording statements of witnesses visiting the spot and collecting the circumstantial evidences etc. proved the commission of offence under Sections 302, 376 and 316 RPC. However, after carrying investigation, the case has been closed as untraced.
Counsel for the petitioner submitted that even if the accused have not been identified and remained untraced, it was the bounden duty of the Investigating Officer to file the report in terms of Section 173 CrPC before the learned Magistrate, who alone could have taken further decision with regard to the closure or otherwise of the case, keeping in view the settled legal position.
He further submitted that it is in view of this conduct of police that the petitioner had lost confidence in the investigation and has, therefore, approached this Court for constituting a Special Investigation Team.
Petitioner seeking constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to conduct the investigation into rape and murder of his sister and erstwhile investigation to complete the investigation of FIR and file status report before the Court.
Court after hearing both the parties and perusal of the record, said, it transpires that with regard to the occurrence alleged by the petitioner, an FIR was registered which was investigated by the cops of police station Sumbal, Sonawari. The Police has also proved the offence but have not been able to trace out the accused.
Court also held the submissions of counsel as correct that the police cannot of their own close the case without reference to the concerned Magistrate.
Court said that if the petitioner is not satisfied with the investigation made by police shall also have an opportunity to lodge his protest before the Magistrate concerned.