Saket Court, New Delhi: The complainant/father had filed a protest petition against the untrace report filed by the investigating officer (‘IO’) and sought further investigation alleging that the investigating agency had not conducted investigation since the year 2014 and a delayed untrace report was filed vis-à-vis FIR for a missing/kidnapped person. While exercising it criminal jurisdiction, Akshay Sharma M.M., stated the matter to be remanded back for further investigation in a proper manner since no proper investigation was conducted in an attempt to locate the victim.
In the matter at hand, the complainant had lodged a missing report of his son dated 04-08-2014 without expressing suspicion on anyone on the said date. However, on 20-08-2014, the complainant gave a statement regarding kidnapping of his son and during the investigation, expressed suspicion on business partners of his son and the supervisor of Balaji Infrastructure Company. However, the IO stated that nothing incriminating came to light. The complainant further stated that he had received a ransom call from one of the accused and the call detail records were not placed on record before the Bench. It was also the case of the complainant that a written complaint was given by him in the police station but the same was not on record. The IO, in his untrace report stated that despite all efforts to search the kidnapped son, he could not be found.
The Court upon perusing the material available on record stated that the untrace report was filed dated 24-12-2019 for a case whose FIR was registered in 2014. It was the contention of the investigating agency that since they were continuously putting in efforts to search for the victim, a delay of 5 years had occurred. However, it was viewed that the Court record did not reflect a continuous effort which was stated to be the reason for the delay.
The Bench took note of the fact that no investigation regarding the extortion allegation against the accused took place demanding INR 10,00,000/- by him, nor the call detail record was placed on record.
The Court stated that the investigating agency had merely stated in the untrace report as well as in the reply to the protest petition that upon interrogation, nothing incriminating was discovered against the suspected individuals. It was further noted that no formal interrogation report nor statement under Section 161 Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 was recorded by the IO. Thus, the Court noted that the basis of exonerating the accused remains unexplained.
“It appears that the concerned IOs has believed that whatever the alleged suspects are stating is the gospel truth”.
In conclusion, the Court held that proper investigation had not been conducted in the present case and that the aspect of extortion as alleged by the complainant had not been investigated into including many other aspects. Therefore, the Court opined that the matter to be remanded back for further investigation in a proper manner and accordingly the protest petition was allowed.
[State v X, 2023 SCC OnLine Dis Crt (Del) 5, decided on 26-04-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For the petitioner- Advocate Namit Saxena;