Writ of mandamus against State Government rejected by the High Court on account of unwillingness of the investigation authority not made out

Delhi High Court: While dismissing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), seeking a mandamus directing the Union of India to register a criminal case against Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan, Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA), G. Rohini, CJ. and Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, J. held that there is no reason as to why the investigative agencies to whom the petitioner has already complained would not look into or are not looking into the allegations or would not discover the truth.

Relying on the decisions laid down by Supreme Court, in a catena of judgments including in the cases of State of West Bengal vs. Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights West Bengal (2010) 3 SCC 571, Babubhai Vs. State of Gujarat (2010) 12 SCC 254 and the most recent one in Mithilesh Kumar Singh Vs. State of Rajasthan (2015) 9 SCC 795, the Court held that though the Courts, in exercise of their power of judicial review, are entitled to direct investigation into an offence alleged to have taken place and such direction would not amount to infringement of the doctrine of separation of powers but such power should not be exercised just for asking or to satisfy the ego or vindicate the prestige of a party interested in such investigation and should be issued only if such a direction is found necessary in the facts and circumstances of the case/situation. The Courts would be justified in issuing such a direction only if it were to find prima facie an offence to have been committed and the Investigating Agency, unwilling to act or if the investigation though undertaken, to be not a fair one or where there are exceptional circumstances and in order to prevent miscarriage of criminal justice.

The Court further said that unless an extraordinary case of gross abuse of power is made out by those in charge of investigation, the Court should be quite loath to interfere with the investigation, a field of activity reserved for Police and the executive. Thus, only if a case of malafide exercise of power by a police officer is made out, would the Court interfere. Since the petitioners were  unable to make out an extraordinary case of gross abuse of power, the petition was dismissed. [Manohar Lal Sharma v. Union of India, W.P.(C) No.6414/2013, decided on 17-12-2015]

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