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Complainant can't be probe officer, says Delhi court

Complainant can’t be probe officer, says Delhi court

If a complainant himself is the investigating officer, the whole probe is vitiated, a Delhi court has observed while acquitting a man found in possession of a pistol and three live cartridges without any licence.

“It is settled law that complainant cannot himself be investigating officer(IO) and if complainant himself is investigating officer, the whole investigation is vitiated,” Metropolitan Magistrate Anuj Agarwal said, noting that in the present case the IO and complainant are same person.

“Thus, whole proceedings are vitiated,” the judge said while acquitting Devender Khari who was charged under Arms Act.

The court relied upon the apex court judgement saying the basic principle of natural justice is violated if complainant himself is the investigating officer.

According to the prosecution, the police caught Devender, when they were carrying out a vehicle check near IGNOU in south Delhi.

The accused, who was driving a Honda City car, was allegedly found possessing a pistol and three live cartridges illegally.

The court, however, acquitted him noting there was serious infirmity in the case of prosecution.

“It is for the prosecution to travel the entire distance from may have to must have. If the prosecution appears to be improbable or lacks credibility, the benefit of doubt necessarily has to go to the accused,” it said.

The court also noted that the mandatory exercise of entering the details of entry and exit from the police station by the cops was missing.

“In absence of the departure and arrival entry of the police officials, their presence at the spot cannot be believed,” the court said.

“The prosecution has failed to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. Hence, accused stands acquitted of the offence under the Arms Act,” the court said.

During the trial, the accused had pleaded not guilty.

( Source- PTI )

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