Friday, 25 October 2019

Supreme Court: Order of Magistrate is not required for every facet of investigation

We are of the view that the manner in which investigation is
to be carried out must be decided by the Investigating Agency.
Further it is for the Magistrate exercising power under Section
156, CrPC to see whether the investigation is properly conducted or
not. It is for the Investigating Agency to investigate a crime in
the manner which it feels is the best. It can approach the
Magistrate for assistance or specific orders when there is
something beyond the scope of investigating agency for which orders
of the Magistrate are required but the investigating agency can
carry out the investigation, without orders of the Magistrate. It

is not necessary that for every facet of investigation, orders from
the Magistrate are required. That is not the purpose of the CrPC.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
M.A. No. 980/2019 in C.A. No. 6312/2014

PRAVEEN KUMAR PRAKASH Vs THE STATE OF JHARKHAND

Dated:OCTOBER 17, 2019.

O R D E R
This application is for recall of order dated 05.08.2019
wherein in respect of Case No. 10/2011 relating to the 1st Combined
Civil Services Examination conducted by Jharkhand Public Service
Commission (JPSC), the following observation has been made:
“Two cases being, Case Nos. 23 of 2010 and 10 of
2011, relating to 2nd Combined Civil Services Examination
and 1st Combined Civil Services Examination respectively
are stated to be still under investigation.”
The applicants who seek recall of this order are the
candidates who were successful in the 1st Combined Civil Services
Examination. The short background of the case is that the JPSC
conducted the 1st Combined Civil Services Examination pursuant to
advertisement issued in the year 2002-03. The applicants before us
were successful in the said examination and appointed by JPSC in
the month of July, 2006. It appears that no challenge was made
to their selection at that stage. In the meanwhile, the 2nd
Combined Civil Services Examination was also conduced by the JPSC
and the successful candidates joined in the year 2008. A challenge
was made to the second selection process whereby the candidates

were selected for the second examination and it was alleged that
there were large scale mal-practices in selection of those involved
in the second process and accordingly Vigilance Case No. 23/2010
was registered. Thereafter, a PIL (bearing WP (PIL) No. 3594/2011)
was filed by one Shri Budh Deo Oraon. In this PIL, the candidates
who were selected in the first selection were not made parties.
However, the allegations were made that the first selection was
also tainted and therefore the CBI should investigate in respect of
both the selections. Pursuant thereto, the FIR was registered even
with regard to first selection on 26.04.2011 as Case Crime No.
10/2011 on 14.06.2012.
It appears that in the meantime the State had terminated the
services of 19 selected candidates from the second examination.
The affected candidates moved the High Court and the High Court set
aside the order of the State on 28.06.2011. This order of the
Single Judge was challenged in LPA No. 254/2011. The LPA and PIL
were heard together. In this LPA, on 14.06.2012, an order was
passed that both the FIRs be investigated by the CBI. It was
further directed that monitoring would be done by the High Court
and stay was granted for re-instatement of those 19 candidates
whose termination had been set aside by the Single Judge. The
High Court not only set aside the order of the Single Judge with
regard to re-instatement of 19 candidates but went on to hold that
all the candidates in 2nd Combined Civil Services Examination
selected pursuant to Advertisement No. 7 of 2005 would not be
allowed to work and draw their salary till further orders of the

High Court. This order was challenged before this Court.
The special leave petition filed by the parties was disposed
of vide judgment dated 11.07.2014 which order was finally corrected
on 27.01.2017. The relevant portion of the order, as corrected,
reads as follows:
“Having heard learned counsel for the parties, we
direct that the said paragraph should be read as
follows:- In pursuance of the aforesaid order certain
employees had been employed and are working presently.
The Division Bench of the High Court wherein direction
has been given for CBI investigation is monitoring the
same. The High Court may do needful in the matter as per
law and we are only inclined to set aside the direction
pertaining to monitoring of investigation by the High
Court. Regard being had to the interim order passed we
are inclined to direct that the direction passed by the
Division Bench to the effect that the candidates selected
in 2nd Combined Civil Services Examination held pursuant
to Advertisement No. 07 of 2005 would not be allowed to
work and draw their salary till further orders of the
High Court is set aside. However, we may hasten to add
that the persons who are working presently shall continue
till the High Court finally decides the lis. Needless to
emphasize, while deciding the controversy the High Court
shall be guided by the decisions of this Court and the
concept of service jurisprudence.”
The effect of the order of this Court is that this Court set
aside the direction pertaining to monitoring of investigation by
the High Court. It confirmed the order of the High Court in so far
as the investigation into both these examinations was to be
conducted by the CBI. This Court further directed that the
candidates selected pursuant to the 2nd Combined Civil Services
Examination be allowed to work. This Court made it clear that this
would be subject to the final decision in the lis between the

parties.
The PIL petitioner filed MA No. 980 of 2019 in this Court
which came up before this Court on 22.07.2019. The grievance of
the PIL petitioner was that despite 2½ years having been lapsed,
the CBI had not completed investigation. This Court passed the
following order:
“Notice be served on the C.B.I. through the Central
Agency, returnable within two weeks.
C.B.I. to submit a report on the status of the
investigation.”
On the next date, the matter was listed before this Bench when
a status report was filed by the CBI and we passed a detailed order
with regard to 12 cases but we are mainly concerned with the
following portion of the order which reads thus:
“Learned counsel for the C.B.I. states that delay has
occurred because re-evaluation of the answer scripts to
be carried out. He prays for direction in this regard.
We permit the C.B.I. to get the answer scripts
reevaluated and grant four months time to do the
needful.”
The main grievance by Mr. P.S. Patwalia, learned senior
counsel appearing on behalf of some of the selected candidates of
the 1st Combined Civil Services Examination is that this order was
obtained by withholding certain facts from this Court and he has
specifically made reference to the order of the High Court dated
07.03.2014, which according to him only allowed the CBI to again

approach the Magistrate for getting the answer scripts of the
selected candidates re-evaluated. His argument is that this order
was not brought to the notice of this Court. If that order had
been brought to the notice of this Court, this Court may not have
passed the directions in the manner in which they passed. He also
contends that the CBI was bound to approach the Trial Court for
obtaining necessary directions in this behalf. His final
submission is that the selected candidates not being parties to
these cases, such orders could not have been passed.
As far as the last objection is concerned, we find no merit in
the same because according to us a person who is an accused has no
business in challenging the manner of investigation unless it
invades his personal liberties or rights.
We, however, do feel that it would have been better if the PIL
petitioner or CBI had brought the order dated 07.03.2014 to the
notice of this Court. Having held so, we do not feel that our
order is such that it runs counter to the order of the High Court
dated 07.03.2014.
The background of the order of 07.03.2014 is that the CBI
filed an application before the Special Judge, CBI, Ranchi praying
that the answer scripts of the selected candidates be got reevaluated
from the JPSC. It appears that this application was
allowed by the Special Judge. The answer scripts in some subjects
were re-evaluated by JPSC but thereafter JPSC stopped re-evaluating

the same and approached the High Court challenging the order of the
Special Judge dated 23.04.2013 permitting such re-evaluation by the
JPSC on the ground that the rules did not allow re-evaluation of
the answer scripts by JPSC.
The High Court held that though the CBI had the power to
investigate the matter in the manner which it felt like but in view
of the regulations pertaining to the Public Service Commission,
which do not permit re-evaluation of the answer scripts, such
direction for re-evaluation could not have been given by the
Special Judge.
Shri P.S. Patwalia, learned senior counsel has made specific
reference to certain observations of the High Court which read as
follows:
“I may agree to the proposition that the prosecuting
agency may not have any bar or barrier to go for
reevaluation. It is well within the power of the
investigating agency to find out the culpability of the
accused persons to go even for reevaluation, though under
regulation it is bar but any order passed by the court
either in civil proceeding or in criminal proceeding
would not be permissible, as has been held by the Hon’ble
Supreme Court in a case referred to above though it was
never related to criminal proceeding.
Since I have already held that it was not permissible
on the part of the court to pass such order directing the
Chairman, JPSC to reevaluate the answer sheets, it would
not be necessary for me to go to other aspect of the
matter as to whether the order passed by the Special
Judge amounts to interference or not. Nevertheless, I
may refer to a decision rendered in a case of Sakiri
Vasu (supra), wherein Their Lordships have observed that
the Magistrate does have enough power to pass such order
which appears to be just and proper for investigation and

that if it appears to the court that the proper
investigation has not been made, he can pass such order.
There has been no dispute to the proposition that the
Magistrate if feels that the investigation has not been
made properly, he may pass such order which he deems fit
and proper so that proper investigation be made.”
The contention is that these observations of the High Court
clearly indicate that the CBI should again approach the Magistrate
for directions to get the answer scripts re-evaluated. We are not
in agreement with this submission because in the final direction,
the High Court held as follows:
“Here the situation appears to be something
different. There has been no dispute over the power of
the CBI that for coming to just and logical conclusion it
can go for evaluation but such order passed by the court
directing the Chairman, JPSC to get the answer book
evaluated can be said to be against the guidelines issued
by the JPSC. Under the circumstances, the court by
passing such order has committed illegality and thereby
the order dated 23.04.2013 certainly suffers from
illegality.”
We are of the view that the manner in which investigation is
to be carried out must be decided by the Investigating Agency.
Further it is for the Magistrate exercising power under Section
156, CrPC to see whether the investigation is properly conducted or
not. It is for the Investigating Agency to investigate a crime in
the manner which it feels is the best. It can approach the
Magistrate for assistance or specific orders when there is
something beyond the scope of investigating agency for which orders
of the Magistrate are required but the investigating agency can
carry out the investigation, without orders of the Magistrate. It

is not necessary that for every facet of investigation, orders from
the Magistrate are required. That is not the purpose of the CrPC.
In the status report filed in a sealed cover, the CBI had made
following observations (since this observation has no secrecy
involved in it, we are quoting this portion of the report):-
“The field investigation in this case is almost
complete. Re-evaluation of answer sheets of all
successful candidates by independent panel of examiners
remains to be done and thereafter decision would be taken
with regard to filing of the chargesheet.”
As already observed by us, it would have been better that the
CBI or the PIL petitioner had brought to our notice. Having held
so, we feel that the CBI in its report did not ask for a direction
of re-evaluation but was only asking for time to complete the reevaluation
process. We would like to clarify that our order should
not be read as a direction to the CBI to conduct re-evaluation but
only to be read as extending time to complete the investigation
including re-evaluation of the answer scripts.
Shri P.S. Patwalia, learned senior counsel has raised doubts
with regard to the veracity of investigation process of the answer
scripts. It is for the trial Court to decide whether re-evaluation
is proper or improper. It is for the trial Court to decide what is
the evidentiary value of such re-evaluation. We make it clear that
the trial Court shall not be influenced by any observations in the
previous orders of this Court where we have extended time

permitting the CBI to carry out re-evaluation process. Needless to
say that during the course of trial or at the time of framing of
charges, it is open to the applicants before us to raise all
grounds available to them. Our observations should not be read to
mean that we have given our approval to the re-evaluation process.
The Miscellaneous application stands disposed of in view of the
fact that this Court is not monitoring the investigation.
…....................J.
[DEEPAK GUPTA]
…....................J.
[ANIRUDDHA BOSE]
NEW DELHI;
OCTOBER 17, 2019.

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