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Karnataka High Court reprimands the Investigating Officer for shoddy investigation

The order came after a writ petition had been filed by a woman for the continuation of the investigation against her husband, which had been stayed by the court. A complaint had been filed by a wife in which she had accused her husband of forcing her to have unnatural sex with him. However, the Investigating Officer did a shady investigation and filed a chargesheet only for an offence under Section 498A of the IPC.

The woman was pursuing her PhD from IIT, Mumbai where she met her husband, who was also pursuing the same. They eventually got married in Bangalore. It is alleged by the woman that he started forcing her for having unnatural sex with him and even assaulted her when she refused. As a result, she went to live with her parents in Raipur, three months after the wedding. She came back to Mumbai for some work when her husband convinced her to come back after assuring her that he would not behave the way he did previously. When the situation got worse, she left him permanently and went to Raipur.

It is further stated that he started threatening her to release some obscene photos of her if she did not return. The photos were sent to her father and two of her friends on Facebook and Whatsapp.

An FIR was registered in Raipur for offences punishable under Section 498A, 377, 34 of the IPC and Sections 66E and 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000. The case was transferred to Bangalore since it was the place of the incident. However, the Bangalore City Police only filed an offence under section 498A in its chargesheet.

After considering the facts of the case, Hon’ble Justice M Nagaprassana observed that the “report of the Police unmistakably reveals gross variance”. It was further observed:

If the complaint registered at Raipur and the statements recorded by the Police at Raipur are juxtaposed with the findings of investigation/ final report filed by the Police, it would unmistakably reveal gross variance. The graphic details in the complaint and the contents of the statement recorded by the Police are completely thrown to the winds by the Investigating Officer. The offence punishable under section 377 of the IPC or under the Act is a go-bye. The gross variance is what has driven the Petitioner to this court.………The crime was no doubt registered for all the offences, but the shady probe conducted by the jurisdictional police (Bangalore City Police) has led to filing of a charge sheet only for an offence under Section 498A of the IPC. Therefore, this becomes a classic case where the investigation has been so shoddy that a further investigation into the matter is needed,” 

The judge further directed that the Director-General of Police (DGP) deal strictly with these investigating officers.

“In view of the preceding analysis, it also becomes a case where the head of the department, either the State or the Commissioner of Police should take stock of such shoddy investigations by investigating officers, who either lack competence or deliberately indulge in such investigations. It is high time the head of the Department sets its house in order, by appropriately dealing with such investigating officers on the departmental side,” 

The judge held that the complaint and the statement clearly bring the offences committed by the husband within the ingredients of the sections under which the FIR has been filed. Therefore further investigation was ordered and the report has to be filed before the magistrate within two months.

Case: Vikram Vincent vs State of Karnataka

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