Tuesday, May 14, 2013

PIL as regards control over investigative agencies

PIL as regards control over investigative agencies

In the wake of the National events where the Hon'ble Supreme Court statement on CBI as a caged parrot is being debated all over the country and the Hon'ble Supreme Court is looking into the possibilities and ways of completely freeing CBI from any extraneous influence,. finding that much more is possibly wanted in Uttar Pradesh, I and my wife Nutan today filed PIL in the Hon'ble Allahabad High Court, Lucknow Bench as regards the current situation about the investigations and enquiries carried by various premier investigative agencies of Uttar Pradesh including Vigilance Establishment, CB-CID, Economic Offences Wing (EOW), SIB Cooperative and Anti Corruption Organization (ACO).
The petition says that investigations and enquiries of criminal cases are done as per the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Under the CrPC, complete responsibility and powers for criminal investigation lies in the investigating officer and his superior police officers.
 It is expected that the enquiry officer will present the facts directly to the Court. As against this, the established rule in UP is that after completion of their enquiries by these investigation agencies, the Vigilance Establishment presents its enquiry to the Vigilance Department and the other agencies to the Home Department of the State Government, who take the final decision.
As per the petition, this current system seems to be against the existing criminal laws as prescribed in CrPC and thus it definitely increases the possibility of external unwarranted influence.
The petition presents in details the Hon'ble Supreme Court order in Vineet Narain vs Union of India and the recently undergoing Coalgate scam where the Hon'ble Supreme Court dwelt over the question of independence of investigative agencies to a great extent and directed for making CBI independent from any external influence.
I quote from Vineet Narain case-

"Once the Jurisdiction is conferred on the CBI to investigate an offence by virtue of notification under Section 3 of the Act, the powers of investigation are governed by the statuary provisions and they cannot be estopped or curtailed by any executive instruction issued under Section 3(1) thereof. This result follows from the fact that conferment of jurisdiction is under section 3 of the Act and exercise of powers of investigation is by virtue of the statuary provisions covering investigation offences. It is settled that statutory jurisdiction cannot be subject to execute control.”

Similarly in the coalgate scam, the Hon'ble Supreme Court order says-
"In  Vineet  Narain,   whilst  acknowledging  that  overall control of the CBI and responsibility for its functioning has  to  be in the executive, this Court was of the view that in  the  matter  of investigation, a scheme giving the needed insulation from extraneous influences of the controlling executive was imperative.  This  Court noted that though the Minister who has been given responsibility  for the functioning of the CBI has general power to  review  its  working and give broad policy directions and he has also power  to  call  for information regarding progress of the  cases  being  handled  by  the agency, but none of these powers would extend to permit the concerned Minister  to  interfere  with  the  course   of   investigation   and prosecution in any individual case."
The petition accordingly prays that investigative agencies of Uttar Pradesh- Vigilance Establishment, CB-CID, EOW, SIB Cooperative and ACO be also directed not to send their reports to the Government for approval but to take the final decision at their own level so that the possibilities of external influences get drastically reduced.

Would request to kindly provide over inputs/reaction on this

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