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SC constitution bench says acquittal can’t be a general rule when accused and IO are the same in NDPS cases

Team SoOLEGAL 1 Sep 2020 4:04pm

SC constitution bench says acquittal can’t be a general rule when accused and IO are the same in NDPS cases

On August 31, 2020, 5-Judges Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court of India has ruled that it cannot be taken as a general premise that a convict under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Disorders Act, 1985 (NDPS) is entitled to acquittal solely because the plaintiff is also the investigating officer.

Justices Arun Mishra, Justice Indira Banerjee,  Justice Vineet Saran, Justice M R Shah and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat were hearing the plea and was of the view that only because the complainant and the investigating officer are the same, it cannot be said that the inquiry is biased and that the trial is vitiated.

The Bench was hearing the question of law referred by the Three Judges Bench on whether the prosecution of cases under the NDPS Act would be vitiated if the complainant and the investigating officer were the same individual.

In a case Mohanlal V State of Punjab a Three Judges Bench held that the prosecution of cases in the act shall be vitiated if the complainant and the investigating officer is the same person.

The Constitution Bench has explained that it depends on the facts and circumstances of each case whether the investigation has been tampered with as the complainant and the investigating officer were the same.



Tagged: SC constitution bench   NDPS cases   5-Judges Constitutional bench   Supreme Court   Justices Arun Mishra   Justice Indira Banerjee   Justice Vineet Saran   Justice M R Shah   Justice S. Ravindra Bhat   NDPS Act   Constitution Bench  
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