Investigation transfer plea filed because police officer is facebook friends with victim dismissed

The Punjab and Haryana High Court refused to transfer an investigation of a case registered at the Chandigarh Police Station to another jurisdiction. The petitioner contended that a false first information report was filed against him by Gertrude D’Souza.

It was alleged that Gertrude D’Souza and former CBI special director, Rakesh Ashtana, the Inspector-General of Police, Tajinder Luthra were all friends on Facebook and therefore the latter had influenced the administrative authorities to file the false report.

The petitioner contended the proximity of the investigation authorities with the victim who was his patient and had visited him for a dental implant in the case against him for deficiency of services. He feared bias against him in the case and also presented the court with facebook conversations to prove the connections’ influence.

Justice Sant Prakash hearing the petition criticized the petitioner for obtaining private facebook chats and noted that the parties were facebook friends because the patient’s husband and the officers had graduated from the same university. Being facebook friends does not lead to the presumption of proximity. Moreover transfer of investigation can only be done in exceptional and rare cases. The plea was dismissed.

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