Supreme Court of India
State of Gujarat v. Kishanbhai Etc.
[Criminal Appeal No. 1485 of 2008],
7th January, 2014
The Court held that “every acquittal should ordinarily lead to the inference,that an innocent person was wrongfully prosecuted” and it is “therefore, essential that every State should put in place a procedural mechanism, which would ensure that the cause of justice is served, which would simultaneously ensure the safeguard of interest of those who are innocent.” In furtherance of the above purpose, the Court considered it essential to “direct the Home Department of every State, to examine all orders of acquittal and to record reasons for the failure of each prosecution case.” A standing committee of senior officers of the police and prosecution departments, was directed to be vested with aforesaid responsibility.
The Home Department of every State Government was directed to incorporate in its existing training programmes for junior investigation/prosecution officials course- content drawn from the above consideration. It was further held by the Court that “on the culmination of a criminal case in acquittal, the concerned investigating/prosecuting official(s) responsible for such acquittal must necessarily be identified. A finding needs to be recorded in each case, whether the lapse was innocent or blameworthy. Each erring officer must suffer the consequences of his lapse, by appropriate departmental action, whenever called for. Taking into consideration the seriousness of the matter, the concerned official may be withdrawn from investigative responsibilities, permanently or temporarily, depending purely on his culpability.” The Court also directed the Home Department of every State Government, to formulate a procedure for taking action against all erring investigating/prosecuting officials/officers.