New Delhi, Aug 31 : A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Monday held that if an investigating officer (IO) is also an informant, it does not cast bias and it can also not become the sole ground for acquittal of an accused in a criminal case under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act).
A bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, M.R. Shah, and Ravindra Bhat delivered the verdict on the question of whether an investigation under the NDPS Act will get vitiated if the investigating officer and the informer is the same.
The bench also emphasized that there cannot be a blanket rule and apprehension cannot be cast automatically, instead such matters will have to be decided on a case-to-case basis.
A three-judge bench of the apex court in 2018 had held that the trial would get vitiated in the case, if the informant and the investigating officer is the same. The correctness of this judgement was questioned by a two-judge bench in Mukesh Singh Vs State (narcotics branch of Delhi). Then, this case was placed before the Constitution Bench for consideration.
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