The Supreme Court has expressed its surprise and disapproval regarding a directive issued by the Madhya Pradesh High Court. The directive in question stipulates that the police must provide an accused individual with the opportunity to explain the materials collected against them before filing formal charges in a case. This unusual approach taken by the High Court has raised concerns among legal experts and the apex court, as it seems to be in contrast to established legal procedures.
In this case, the accused served as the Assistant Society Manager of a specific society. The First Information Report (FIR) against the accused contained serious allegations related to financial irregularities and the misuse of public funds earmarked for the welfare of farmers. The High Court, while declining to quash the FIR, issued a directive that the accused should be granted the opportunity to explain the materials collected against them before the submission of the final report under Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
The Supreme Court, In its response, expressed its disapproval of the High Court’s directive. A bench comprising Justices AbhayS. Oka and Pankaj Mithal found this approach to be strange and contrary to established legal practices. They stated that the Investigating Officer should not give an accused the chance to explain the collected material before filing the final report under Section 173 of the CrPC. This observation highlights the unusual nature of the High Court’s directive, as it seems to deviate from standard legal procedures.
The Supreme Court further noted that the High Court had rejected the appellant’s plea without examining the case’s merits. In response to this, the apex court has reinstated the matter before the High Court, also extending the interim relief that had been granted earlier.
The Supreme Court issued a specific directive to the Registrar (Judicial) of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. The restored petition must be listed before the roster Bench on December 8, 2023, in the morning. On this day, the parties involved must appear before the roster Bench, complying with the Supreme Court’s orders.
The Madhya Pradesh High Court’s directive, which allowed the police to provide an accused individual with an opportunity to explain the materials collected against them before filing formal charges, has raised concerns about potential deviations from standard legal practices. It remains to be seen how this issue will be further addressed in the ongoing legal proceedings, and the apex court’s decision to reinstate the matter before the High Court adds an extra layer of complexity to this case.