Other States

No bias if informant is investigator too: SC

A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court held on Monday that an accused, especially under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, cannot seek an acquittal on the ground that the complainant and investigating officer are one and the same.

“In a case where the informant himself is the investigator, by that itself cannot be said that the investigation is vitiated on the ground of bias,” the five-judge Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra observed.

Justice M.R. Shah, who wrote the judgment for the Bench, held the question of bias or prejudice would depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case.

“Therefore, merely because the informant is the investigator, by that itself the investigation would not suffer the vice of unfairness or bias and therefore on the sole ground that informant is the investigator, the accused is not entitled to acquittal. The matter has to be decided on a case to case basis,” the court held.

The Constitution Bench was answering a reference made to it by a three-judge Bench in September 2019.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 2:26:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/no-bias-if-informant-is-investigator-too-sc/article32491738.ece

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