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Kerala High Court has beheld that it is not obligatory for the Investigating Officer to seek any permission from the Court to conduct further investigation. Also, there is no restriction on the power of the investigating officer to conduct further investigation after the commencement of the trial of the case.

The Single Judge Bench of Justice R. Narayana Pisharadi has observed the aforesaid ruling in Mariamma John @ Mercy vs. Deputy Superintendent of Police.

In the present case, the Petitioner has three main contentions which were raised while challenging the issue of further investigation after the commencement of the trial of the case:

  1. Further investigation cannot be conducted by the court after the commencement of the trial of the case.
  2. The reasons stated for conducting further investigation are not sustainable by Law.
  3. Further investigation to rectify the defects in the investigation already conducted is not permissible.

The Petitioner in furtherance to the aforesaid contentions submitted that many witnesses have already been examined in the case and that further investigation cannot be conducted after commencement of the trial of the case.

While referring to the Supreme Court ruling in Rama Chaudhary v. State: AIR 2009 SC 2308 and Section 173(8) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the court noted:

“Even without any permission from the court, investigating officer has power to conduct further investigation. It is only as a matter of courtesy that he investigating officer is required to inform the court regarding the further investigation being conducted in the case so as to enable the court to stop the trial of the case and to await the report in respect of such investigation.”

The Court while commenting upon the merits of the plea of the Petitioner noted that “There is no restriction on the power of the investigating officer to conduct further investigation after the commencement of the trial of the case.”

The Court also observed that, further investigation in the instant case was proposed to be conducted to cure some procedural and technical irregularities in the filing of the charge sheet.

The Court after considering the facts and circumstance of the present case said that the Petitioner herein has no right with reference to the manner of investigation or the mode of prosecution.

-India Legal Bureau

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