The magisterial court is not a mere post office that transfers the material received from the police for trial to the sessions court, and it can order further investigation into a case if it finds the evidence tendered before it is insufficient, states an order by additional chief metropolitan magistrate DH Sharma.
The legislature, in its wisdom, has provided for filing of a charge sheet in the court of a magistrate before committal of a sessions triable case, observed Sharma while ordering further investigation in the alleged murder of Ankit Sharma. The court was acting on a plea filed by the father of the victim, Umakant Sharma.
The defence had opposed the application contending that Umakant had no locus standi to file the application and the magisterial court had no powers to order further investigation.
Their counsel had argued that the magistrates court was a mere post office, which was required to transmit material received from the police to the sessions court for trial.
“The legislature intended a judicial mind to be applied on the material,” the additional CMM said, adding, “A magistrate is required to find out whether the material is sufficient to commit the case for trial, which includes direction for reinvestigation or further investigation.”
Ankit was found hanging in his flat at Man Niketan Society in Malad on December 21, 2009. Umakant, a senior executive with a nationalised bank in New Delhi, alleged that Ankit was killed by his wife, Abhilasha.
He filed an application after the Malad police filed a charge sheet treating Ankit’s death as a suicide.
While ordering further investigation, the court noted that there were discrepancies in Abhilasha’s statements. On December 21, she told the police that her neighbours, Mohini Chandni and Sonali Chavan, had helped her take down Ankit’s body.
On January 13, she claimed she had cut the bed sheet used for the suicide.
The court also considered a report prepared by private forensic expert, Dr Rajendra S Bangal.
“The police did not record the length of the bed sheet. The height of the fan from the floor is 7.5ft and the height of the bed is 1.6ft. Very little space would have been left between the deceased’s neck and the fan. Therefore, the length of the bed sheet was of vital importance,” said Dr Bangal, professor of forensic medicines and medical jurisprudence, Rural Medical College, Loni, Ahmednagar.
Umakant told Hindustan Times: “My brother lives close to their house, but Abhilasha did not bother to inform him of Ankit’s death.”
Advocate Shitij Mehta who represents Abhilasha was not available for comment.