SC slams UP Police for sham murder investigation involving BJP MLA

The Supreme Court noted that the investigation and the closure report were extremely casual and perfunctory in nature and ordered a SIT probe

Supreme court

Justices R.F Nariman, Navin Sinha and Krishna Murari pulled up the Uttar Pradesh Police for the manner in which the investigation was carried out into a murder case involving BJP MLA Sushil Singh as an accused.

The Bench sternly noted, “the investigation and the closure report are extremely casual and perfunctory in nature. The investigation and closure report do not contain any material with regard to the nature of the investigation……the closure report is based on the ipse dixit of the investigating officer. The investigation appears to be a sham, designed to conceal more than to investigate.”

The three-judge Bench stayed the trial and appointed Satyarth Anirudh Pankaj, as the senior officer, State of Uttar Pradesh to carry out further investigation in the matter through a team of officers selected by him and to conclude the inquiry within two months.

The Supreme Court was hearing the plea filed by the deceased’s son, Amar Nath Chaubey, aggrieved by the Allahabad High Court order dismissing his petition seeking a transfer of the case to CBI. The petitioner had alleged that the lackadaisical manner in which the police was investigating because of the involvement of some powerful political personalities was tampering with the whole investigation.

He further alleged that the investigating officers were also regularly being changed. The deceased and petitioner’s father, Ram Bihar Chaubey was shot in his village, Shrikanthpur, Varanasi in December, 2015. It was submitted that there existed a political rivalry between Sushil Singh and Ram Bihar on account of assembly and panchayat elections.

The police in its case diary had recorded in 2017, that as per the police informer, the accused/ respondent Sushil Singh had paid a token of rupees five lakh to the assailants who shot at the petitioner’s father.

Eventually an affidavit was filed by the DGP on February 22, 2020 stating that there was no “cogent evidence against respondent no.5 (Sushil Singh) despite discreet efforts” and the investigation was closed later. It was also submitted by the State that Sushil Singh was associated with various high political offices in Uttar Pradesh and that he had 24 criminal cases, including six pending murder cases against him. In 1998, he was also imprisoned under the National Security Act (NSA).

The court, after hearing the submissions and taking note of the closure report, observed that the report “simply stated that there was no concrete evidence of conspiracy against BJP MLA Sushil Singh and that the informant had not placed any materials before the police directly or indirectly with regard to the conspiracy.”

The order further stated, “The investigation and closure report do not contain any material with regard to the nature of investigation against the other accused including respondent no.5 for conspiracy to arrive at the conclusion for insufficiency of evidence against them.”

The apex court also emphasised on the primary duty of the police to investigate on receiving report of the commission of a cognisable offence. “Investigation is the exclusive privilege and prerogative of the police which cannot be interfered with. But if the police does not perform its statutory duty in accordance with law or is remiss in the performance of its duty, the court cannot abdicate its duties on the precocious plea that investigation is the exclusive prerogative of the Police.”

The court further added that, “Once the conscience of the court is satisfied, from the materials on record, that the police has not investigated properly or apparently is remiss in the investigation properly or apparently is remiss in the investigation, the court has a bounden constitutional obligation to ensure that the investigation is conducted in accordance with law.

“If the court gives any directions for that purpose within the contours of the law, it cannot amount to interference with investigation. A fair investigation is, but a necessary concomitant of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India and this Court has the bounden obligation to endure adherence by the police.”

It, therefore, partly set aside the closure report with respect to those accused against whom the closure report was filed including Singh. The matter is now expected to be taken up after two months.

The order may be read here: 



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