Delhi HC clarifies scope of further investigation in criminal cases
NEW DELHI — The Delhi High Court has said that the right to further investigation by the police does not entail starting afresh with reinvestigation.
Justice Anoop Kumar Mendiratta clarified that the purpose of further investigation is not to establish the defence of the accused but to uncover the truth and gather evidence for a fair trial.
The court said that the jurisdictional court retains the discretion to direct further investigation based on the circumstances of each case, even after taking cognizance.
However, it stressed that this discretion should be exercised judiciously before the trial commences.
“While the objective of further investigation remains to find the truth and gather evidence for substantial justice, it does not warrant a mere reinvestigation or fresh investigation from scratch,” the court stated.
These observations were made in response to a plea filed by an accused challenging a trial court’s dismissal of his application for further investigation in a rape case.
The complainant alleged that she was promised marriage by the accused, with whom she entered a sexual relationship via a dating app. Subsequently, she claimed to have become pregnant, after which the accused cut off contact.
The accused sought further investigation into the possibility of the complainant being involved in honey trapping and extortion. However, the court found no evidence to support these claims.
Despite the absence of extortion allegations or substantial evidence linking the complainant to a honey trapping gang, the court concluded that no grounds existed to warrant further investigation as requested by the petitioner.
Consequently, the court set aside the imposed cost on the petitioner and disposed of the petition accordingly.