"Shocking": Supreme Court directs State police not to file closure reports in cases where FIR quashed by High Court

A bench of Justices MR Shah and CT Ravikumar said that the Criminal Procedure Code does not call for the same.
Justices MR Shah and CT Ravikumar
Justices MR Shah and CT Ravikumar

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed States to ensure that police do not file closure reports in cases where the criminal complaint or proceedings have already been quashed by the High Court [State of Uttarakhand vs Umesh Kumar Sharma and ors].

A bench of Justices MR Shah and CT Ravikumar said such a practice is not provided for in the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

"We are literally surprised and shocked that when the criminal proceedings/FIRs were quashed by the High Court, which has been challenged by the State thereafter, how there can be a closure report by the I.O...if such a practice is being followed by the State, the same should be stopped immediately. We observe that in case of quashing of the criminal proceedings/FIRs by the High Court, there is no question of preparing/filing a closure report under Section 173 CrPC," the Court said.

It further directed a copy of the order to be sent to the Chief and Home secretaries as well as the Directors General of Police of all the States.

The order was passed while hearing the Uttarakhand government's appeal against a 2020 High Court order that had quashed criminal proceedings against the three respondents.

The respondents, two of whom are journalists, had proceedings initiated against them in connection with allegations of corruption they had levelled against the then Chief Minister, TS Rawat.

The bench had, in its last order in the matter on March 28, asked the concerned Investigation Officer (IO) to be present in Court to give an explanation.

The IO submitted on affidavit that the concerned report was never forwarded to the Magistrate, and was not dealt with on merits. Further, he had only prepared the same to 'complete' the proceedings.

The counsel for the State added that the practice was unnecessary, and the report in question will be ignored as invalid.

Senior Advocates Kapil Sibal and Sidharth Luthra appeared for the respondents. Additional Solicitor General Balbir Singh represented the State.

[Read order]

State of Uttarakhand vs Umesh Kumar Sharma and ors.pdf
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