Supreme Court: Section 195(1)(b)(i), CrPC will not bar investigation by investigating agency under Section 193, IPC

In the present case the matter arrises out of common facts and question of law, appeal arising is out of SLP.

The case was registered against the appeal and under section 120B read with section 420,467, 468  and 471 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 and section 13 (2) read with 13 (1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

A separate disappropriation of asset case was registered against appellant under section 13(2) read with 13(1) (e) of the PE Act.

The trial court convicted the appellant under section 13(2) read with section 13(1) (e) of the PC Act as well as section 120B and 193 of the IPC and sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment of two years and payment of fine of Rs. 1.5 lakhs. The other two accused were convicted under section 120B and 193 of IPC and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of one year and payment of fine of Rs 1 lakh each.

The Accused argued that complaint under Section 195(1)(b) CrPC was necessary for prosecuting the case under Section 193, IPC, but the contents were ignored by the trial court and it convicted the appellant under section 13(2) read with section 13(1) (e) of the PC Act as well as section 120B and 193 of the IPC and sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment of two years and payment of fine of Rs. 1.5 lakhs. The other two accused were convicted under section 120B and 193 of IPC and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of one year and payment of fine of Rs 1 lakh each.

The case was taken to high court where the issue raised was whether Section 195(1)(b)(i), CrPC bars lodging of case by the investigating agency under Section 193, IPC, in respect of offence of giving false evidence which is committed at stage of investigation, prior to production of such evidence before the Trial Court?

The court in the matter observed that bar under Section 195(1)(b) is applied to an offence committed, the investigating agency has a separate right to proceed against the accused for attempting to obstruct fair and transparent probe into a criminal offence. It would be impracticable to insist upon lodging of written complaint by the Court under Section 195(1)(b)(i), CrPC in such a situation.

Case: Bhima Razu Prasad vs. State [S.L.P. (Criminal) No. 5102 of 2020]

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