2009 ALL MR (Cri) 2713
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY(AURANGABAD BENCH)

V.R. KINGAONKAR, J.

Vijay S/O. Dinkarrao Kulkarni Vs. State Of Maharashtra & Ors.

Criminal Writ Petition No.437 of 2009

31st July, 2009

Petitioner Counsel: Mr. S. S. GANGAKHEDKAR
Respondent Counsel: Mrs. R. D. REDDY,Mr. R. R. KARPE

Criminal P.C. (1973), S.173 - Duty of Investigating Officer - It is not only the duty of the Investigating Officer to book a real culprit, but it is also duty of the Investigating Officer to protect one who is innocent and give assurance to a common man that there will be no unnecessary harassment to him.

It is not only the duty of the Investigating Officer to book a real culprit, but it is also duty of the Investigating Officer to protect one who is innocent and give assurance to a common man that there will be no unnecessary harassment to him. In the present case, without there being an iota of evidence available and without there being any grievance ventilated by any of the person, the petitioner came to be charge-sheeted. It was totally overlooked that he lost his old aged father in the course of such incident. In such a case, human touch to the police work is expected. The filing of charge-sheet against such a person would amount to adding of insult to the injury already sustained by him. [Para 7]

JUDGMENT

JUDGEMENT :- Rule. Rule made returnable forthwith and heard finally by consent of the learned counsel for the parties and learned A.P.P..

2. By this petition, the petitioner is asking for quashing of criminal proceedings bearing S.C.C. No.83/2008 pending on file of learned Judicial Magistrate (F.C.), Aurangabad for offences punishable under sections 337, 279 and 304-A of the I.P. Code.

3. It is not necessary to elaborately set out genesis of the incident. According to the prosecution, on 25th August, 2007, the petitioner was driving a motorcycle No. MH20/AW-8443 on Bhadra Maroti, Khultabad Aurangabad road. His old aged father was the pillion rider. The motorcycle skidded and both of them fell down. The old aged father sustained some injuries. The petitioner also received some minor injuries. The passersby rushed to the place after a shortwhile. Both the injured persons were rushed to Apex Hospital, Aurangabad for medical treatment. The petitioner was discharged because he had received minor injuries. His father was, however, admitted in the hospital for the medical treatment and lateron was shifted to Dhoot Hospital. While he was taking the treatment, the old man died in the night of 12th September, 2007.

4. On basis of statement of brother of the petitioner, which was recorded on 13-09-2007, the offence was registered vide Crime No. 255/2007. The police recorded further statements and subsequently, chargesheeted the petitioner for offences punishable under sections 279, 337 and 304-A of the I.P. Code.

5. Heard learned counsel for the petitioner, learned counsel for the respondent No.2/complainant and learned APP for the respondents No.1 and 3/State.

6. So far as the charge is concerned, it may be gathered that father of the petitioner was alive between 25th August, 2007 to 12thSeptember, 2007. He never attributed any negligence to the petitioner. There is no eye witness account about the incident. The statement of the respondent No.2 would show that immediately, the petitioner disclosed that while he and his old aged father were proceeding on the motorcycle, all of a sudden, a dog came in the front and, therefore, he applied brakes. He explained that while making an attempt to avoid hitting the dog and collision with the animal, the brakes were applied by him and, therefore, the motorcycle skidded and both of them had fallen down. In fact, this was the explanation which was immediately given by the petitioner not only to his brother i.e. Respondent No.2, but also to wife of the respondent No. 2. The Investigating Officer recorded statement of one Ankush Dagdu Bharaskar on 13th September, 2007. His statement purports to show that he saw that the petitioner and one old man were lying in injured condition by side of the motorcycle. The old man was having head injury as well as discreet injuries. On inquiry, he came to know that while the petitioner was driving the motorcycle and his father was the pillion driver, in order to avert dash to the dog which came in front, the petitioner had applied brakes and, therefore, both of them had fallen down from the motorcycle.

7. It has come on record that there is absolutely no scintilla of evidence gathered during the course of investigation to infer any kind of rashness or negligence on part of the petitioner. It is purely a case of an accident without any element of rashness and negligence on part of the petitioner. The statements of the witnesses were recorded by Head Constable No.1066 and the final charge-sheet was filed by P.S.I. D.N. Chaudhary. This is an example wherein the filing of charge-sheet in shipshod manner is brought on surface of the record. It is not only the duty of the Investigating Officer to book a real culprit, but it is also duty of the Investigating Officer to protect one who is innocent and give assurance to a common man that there will be no unnecessary harassment to him. In the present case, without there being an iota of evidence available and without there being any grievance ventilated by any of the person, the petitioner came to be charge-sheet. It was totally overlooked that he lost his old aged father in the course of such incident. In such a case, human touch to the police work is expected. The filing of chargesheet against such a person would amount to adding of insult to the injury already sustained by him. Mr. Karpe, learned advocate for the respondent No.2, submits that there was no grievance ventilated by the respondent No.2 (complainant) against the petitioner, nor he is eye witness of the incident. Needless to say, the filing of the chargesheet is absolutely unjustified and no case is made out, whatsoever, on the basis of material which has been gathered during the course of so called investigation conducted by Head Constable No. 1066 and that P.S.I. D.N. Chaudhary also failed to evaluate the relevant statements in proper manner. They both acted in casual manner. The purfunctory investigation shows that the police officers just wanted to file the charge-sheet though no iota of material could be gathered against the petitioner about his so called complicity.

8. In the result, the petition is allowed. The criminal case bearing S.C.C. No.83/2008 pending on file by learned Judicial Magistrate (F.C.), Aurangabad stands quashed.

9. A copy of this judgement shall be forwarded to the Commissioner of Police, Aurangabad (present respondent No.3) and to the Inspector General of Police, Aurangabad so as to instruct the concerned Investigating Officers to be more careful in such cases while filing the charge-sheet wherever there is no proper evidence collected and also to take suitable action against the abovenamed police officers.

Petition allowed.