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Entire prosecution cannot be quashed, even if investigation is not done by DSP under SC/ST Act, if other offences under IPC are also attracted; SC.

Supreme Court of India

Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice Indu Malhotra

The SC { STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH v. BABBU RATHORE & ANR. } reiterates that when the offence complained are both under IPC and any of the offence enumerated in Section 3 of the Scheduled   Castes   and Scheduled   Tribes (Prevention   of   Atrocities)   Act,   1989 the investigation which is being made by a competent  police officer in accordance with the provisions of the Code cannot be quashed for non ­investigation of the offence  under  Section  3  of  the  Act   by a  competent police officer. In such a situation the proceedings  shall proceed   in   an   appropriate   court   for   the   offences punishable   under   IPC   notwithstanding   investigation and the charge­sheet being not liable to be accepted only in respect of offence under Section 3 of the Act  for taking cognizance of that offence.

In the present case, the judgment of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh dated 9th  May, 2019 confirming Order of the trial Judge dated 24th  July, 2015 whereby the respondents have been discharged from the offences under Sections 302/34, 404/34 of   the   IPC   and   Section   3(2)(v)   of   the   Scheduled   Castes   and Scheduled   Tribes(Prevention   of   Atrocities)   Act,   1989 at the advanced stage of the trial when almost all the material witnesses have been examined by the prosecution - for the reason that the investigation under Scheduled   Castes   and Scheduled   Tribes(Prevention   of   Atrocities)   Act,   1989 was not done by the competent officer i.e. DSP but was done by Sub Inspector - which order was assailed before the SC. 

It was held by the SC that undisputedly,   in   the   instant   case,   the   respondents   were charged under Sections 302/34, 404/34 IPC apart  from Section 3(2)(v)   of   the   Act,   1989   and   the   charges   under   IPC   have   been framed after investigation by a competent police  officer under the Code,   in   such   a   situation,     the   High   Court   has committed   an   apparent   error   in   quashing   the   proceedings   and discharging the respondents from the offences committed under the provisions   of  IPC   where   the   investigation   has   been   made   by   a competent police officer under the provisions of the Code.  In such a situation, the charge­sheet deserves to proceed in an appropriate competent Court of jurisdiction for the offence punishable under the IPC, notwithstanding the fact that the charge­sheet could not  have proceeded confined to the offence under  Section 3 of the Act, 1989.

Accordingly, the appeal was allowed.


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