Justice Hrishikesh Roy said one factor which is considered relevant for the induction of the central agency like the CBI in an investigation is to retain public confidence in the impartial working of the State agencies.
The court referred to its recent decision in a case related to journalist Arnab Goswami and said it not for the accused to choose the investigating agency.
The court noted that while Rajput’s father and the Bihar government have alleged that Mumbai Police is attempting to shield the real culprits under political pressure, the Maharashtra government has strongly refuted it saying Patna Police has no jurisdiction to investigate the crime as the incident has taken place in Mumbai.
It must be determined whether the unnatural death was the result of some criminal acts. In order to lend credibility to the investigation and its conclusion, it would be desirable in my view, to specify the authority, which should conduct the investigation in this matter, the court said.
It said that while the CBI cannot conduct an investigation without the consent of the concerned state as mandated under section 6, the powers of the Constitutional Courts are not fettered by the statutory restriction of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act.
It said the FIR at Patna against Chakraborty was subsequently transferred to the CBI with the consent of the Bihar government during the pendency of her Transfer Petition.
However, in the future, if the commission of a cognizable offense under section 175(2) CrPC is determined, the possibility of a parallel investigation by the Mumbai Police cannot be ruled out, the court said.
The apex court said that Section 6 of the DSPE Act, 1946 read with Section 5 prescribe the requirement of consent from the State government, before entrustment of investigation to the CBI.
As the CBI has already registered a case and commenced investigation at the instance of the Bihar government, uncertainty and confusion must be avoided in the event of Mumbai Police also deciding to simultaneously investigate the cognizable offense, based on their finding in the inquiry proceeding, the top court said.