Further probe in graft cases against politicians is to fix defects: DVAC

The judge had described the initiation of ‘further investigation’ after the filing of final report as a ploy for discharging politicians from cases.
Image used for representational purposes only
Image used for representational purposes only

CHENNAI: The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) has told the Madras High Court that ‘further investigation’ in cases relating to the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) against political leaders are carried out only as a remedy for a defective investigation and such reports, in many cases, could ensure an innocent person is not convicted due to faulty evidence or the guilty does not get way away due to a defective investigation.

On behalf of the DVAC, Advocate General P S Raman recently made the submissions before the bench of Justice N Anand Venkatesh during the final hearing of the suo motu revision cases the latter has initiated against the orders discharging ministers from the cases registered under the PCA for disproportionate assets.

The judge had described the initiation of ‘further investigation’ after the filing of final report as a ploy for discharging politicians from cases.

The AG said the investigating agency is duty-bound to launch further investigation upon fresh facts coming to its notice even after filing the final report (charge sheet). Neither Section 173 nor 190 of the CrPC limits the investigating authority’s power, he said.

The submission of a further investigation report does not end the matter because the final word is vested with the magistrate, acting as a sufficient safeguard against abuse of power by the investigating authority, he said. The outcome is entirely in the hands of the magistrate, he said. So long as the investigation is unbiased, honest, by the law, and brings out the truth, superior courts should not interfere with the same, let alone quash such reports or transfer such investigations to another agency, he added.

The AG said the language of the CrPC indicates that further investigation is not restrictive but has the widest possible sanctity and the interest of justice would be the only guiding factor.

The ambit of further investigation may even include matters not considered at the time of filing the final report or where it was found necessary that the investigation needs to be carried out from a different angle.

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