The Bombay High Court recently emphasized the accused's right to assert
innocence during the investigation stage. It stated that a fair investigation,
aimed at discovering the truth, is essential for a fair trial. The investigating
officer must consider all relevant material, and one-sided investigations
favoring the prosecution are not permissible under the Code of Criminal
Procedure. The Court also gave few illustrations on exemplary basis:
Illustration No. 01
In case of first information alleging that there was consensual sexual
intercourse with a minor, if the accused sought to tender birth certificate of
the victim showing that she was major on the date of occurrence, which would
materially divert the course of investigation. In such a situation, the police
cannot say that let the charge sheet be filed for the offence of rape and then
the accused shall tender birth certificate in defence during trial.
Illustration No. 02
In case of requiring physical presence of culprit, if the accused sought to
tender unquestionable documents showing that at the relevant time he was abroad.
In such a situation also, those documents would assist the investigating agency
to arrive on the truth.
Case Name: Nikhil Ashokrao Waghmare & Ors. v. The State of Maharashtra & Anr.
Case No.: Crl. Application (APPP) No. 1346 of 2023
Dated: 18 October 2023