The Calcutta High Court has taken suo motu cognizance of the delay in filing charge-sheet and completing investigation in heinous crimes (In Re: Delayed Investigation in Criminal Cases).
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Arijit Banerjee took note of the information received from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the State and observed that there are around 999 cases where delay is visible, and where charge-sheet had not been filed within the specified time period.
“The same was placed before the Chief Justice (Acting) and matter was directed to be taken on judicial side as a PIL for the reason that delayed investigation and filing of charge sheet in Court in cases involving heinous crimes does not reflect good on the investigating agency.”
The Court also directed the Advocate General to inform it as to why there is a delay in such process.
“Whenever the charge sheets have not been filed for want of sanction, the reasons therefor and the officers concerned who are sitting tight over the file in not granting sanction for prosecution, be placed before the Court.”
The Court noted that the reasons assigned for non-filing of charge-sheets within the time prescribed are pendency of investigation, non-receipt of reports from different laboratories, sanction for prosecution, arrest of accused, experts opinion and collection of relevant documents.
In this regard, the Court requested Advocate General Kishore Datta to extensively go through the data tabled by the CID and to inform the Court as to whether there are any other cases where charge-sheets have not been filed on time.
“Further, he will apprise the Court as regards the infrastructure available in different laboratories in the State with reference to the fact that the testing facilities have to be such where the reporting is not delayed as a result of which the filing of the charge sheet or investigation of a case delayed,” the Court ordered.
The Registrar General has been directed to collect information from all courts in the State of West Bengal pertaining to cases in which charge-sheets have not been filed on it. This information is required to be placed before the Court on the next date of hearing on June 28.
Read order here: