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To arraign the accused, the investigating officer cannot change his position or rely on evidence that is not part of the chargesheet: Gujarat High Court

The Gujarat High Court on 5th May 2022 ruled that it was not allowed for the Investigating Officer to rely on other evidence that was not part of the chargesheet to allege that the Applicant was involved in the crime in question, through the single bench of Justice Nikhil S. Kariel in the case of Rajendrakumar Manilal Jaiswal vs State of Gujarat (Special Criminal Application No. 2753 of 2015).

 

FACTS OF THE CASE:

The applicant seeks the quashing of a Criminal Complaint registered with the Gandevi Police Station on 29.12.2014, for offences punishable under Sections 66 (1)b, 65AE, 116(2), 81, 98, and 99 of the Gujarat Prohibition Act, as well as Criminal Case No. 231 of 2015 arising from the impugned FIR, which was pending before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Gandevi, Dist. Panchmahal.

The Applicant had challenged the FIR since he was not initially included in it, but following the investigation, his name was added to the charge sheet based on the statements of the co-accused. Even though the fact that there was no evidence to substantiate the allegations, the chargesheet stated that the Applicant was the principal purchaser of prohibited goods. There was also no proof that the Applicant had transported the vehicle loaded with prohibited goods.

The APP, on the other hand, argued that the chargesheet expressly stated that the prohibited goods were delivered to the Applicant and then transported in his truck.

JUDGEMENT:

When the High Court looked into the evidence for this allegation, the APP stated that the Applicant was in close contact with the other accused. The Bench did note, however, that though the truck was intercepted on 29.12.2014, the call details were only up to 28.12.2014. As a result, it was decided that there was no evidence that the Applicant was driving the truck.

The Bench noted that the Investigating Officers had changed their position by stating in the chargesheet that the goods were transported to the Applicant and then contending in court that the Applicant had driven the truck. This compelled the High Court to state categorically that the Investigating Officers could not be allowed to alter their views and rely on evidence that was not included in the chargesheet to arraign the Applicant as an accused person.

Accordingly, the FIR registered against the applicant was quashed.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NIDHI KUMAR

 

 

Read the full judgement.

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