Courts not obliged to hear accused while considering plea for further investigation

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courts not obliged to hear accused

Apex Court held that the court is not obliged to hear the accused before any direction for further investigation is made under Section 173(8) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. 

Facts : Appellant filed an application seeking to join as a respondent in a Special Criminal Application seeking further investigation against other persons which was dismissed by the High Court. 

Upholding the High Court order, the bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and MR Shah , referring to earlier decisions on this aspect, observed that there is nothing in Section 173(8) CrPC to suggest that the court is obliged to hear the accused before any direction for further investigation is made. When the proposed accused against whom the further investigation is sought, namely Shri Bhaumik is not required to be heard at this stage, there is no question of hearing the appellant-one of the co-accused against whom the chargesheet is already filed and the trial against whom is in progress and no relief of further investigation is sought against him. Therefore, the High Court is absolutely justified in rejecting the application submitted by the appellant to implead him as a party respondent in the Special Criminal Application. 

While dismissing the appeal, the bench further observed:

 We are of the opinion that as such no error has been committed by the High Court dismissing the application submitted by the appellant herein to implead him in the Special Criminal Application filed by the private respondent herein challenging the order passed by the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate rejecting his application for further investigation under Section 173(8) CrPC with respect to one another accused namely Shri Bhaumik against whom no charge-sheet has been filed till date. Therefore, it is not at all appreciable how the appellant against whom no relief is sought for further investigation has any locus and/or any say in the application for further investigation under Section 173(8) CrPC. How he can be said to be a necessary and a proper party. It is required to be noted that, as such, even the proposed accused Shri Bhaumik shall not have any say at this stage in an application under Section 173(8) CrPC for further investigation.