Apply mind before framing charges: HC to magistrates - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Apply mind before framing charges: HC to magistrates

Apply mind before framing charges: HC to magistrates

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7

Reminding judicial magistrates across Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh that it was mandatory to apply mind before ordering the framing of a criminal charge, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has also held that final investigation report or challan was required to reflect the process of opinion formation by the prosecuting agency regarding the commission of an offence.

Justice Anil Kshetarpal also directed the Registrar-General to circulate the judgment to all Sessions Judges in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh for onward transmission to the magistrates. The judgment was also directed to be forwarded to home secretaries of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh for information and necessary action.

Justice Kshetarpal ruled: “The police report on completion of investigation has to be comprehensive and must disclose the process of reasoning which results into forming an opinion that the accused, being sent for trial, has committed an offence.”

Justice Kshetarpal also asserted that police reports were being mechanically forwarded by the prosecuting agency without discussing material/evidence collected by it and how it formed an opinion. The Code of Criminal Procedure, in fact, obligated the prosecuting agency to inform the magistrate how the offence appeared to have been committed.

The ruling came on a petition by Tarsem Singh and another petitioner against the State of Punjab after which Justice Kshetarpal observed that the dispute between the parties was of a civil nature and the first informant had attempted to give it a colour of criminal offences. Justice Kshetarpal was also of the view that investigating agency failed to “lift the veil” and find that the dispute was of a civil nature.

Referring to the final report, Justice Kshetarpal asserted it was apparent that the investigating agency, apart from reproducing the complaint which resulted into an FIR, did not by any process of reasoning find how the offences were made out.

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