The high court has held that a magistrate court cannot take cognisance of a charge sheet filed by the Central Crime Branch unless the state government authorises the CCB as a police station.
Justice B A Patil allowed the petitions filed by Dr M G Gopal, Principal and Dean of the Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), Bengaluru, Dr Appaji Gowda M S, the president of the Rajya Vokkaligara Sangha, and Dr Nisarga, a member of the KIMS governing council, against a magistrate court’s order taking cognisance of the CCB charge sheet against them.
The case pertains to the admission of two students, including the son of a man who filed a complaint with the CCB, over and above the permitted intake.
The petitioners contended in the high court that though the Medical Council of India had approved the intake of up to 150 medical students, another candidate had been admitted before the admission of the complainant’s son.
As per section 173 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code, it is the officer in charge of the police station who shall forward the report to the magistrate. However, in the KIMS case, the final report was filed by the CCB, which has not been declared a police station under Section 2 (s) of the CrPC.
The petitioners argued that the CCB is not the ‘officer in charge of the police station’ as per section 36 of the CrPC for submitting the report under section 173 (2) of the CrPC.
The CCB (Fraud and Misappropriation Wing) contended that like CBI officers, CCB
officers exercise the powers as superior officers and have area jurisdiction. The court, however, noted that a CCB police officers is not superior in rank to an officer in charge of the police station in the local jurisdiction.
“When CCB is not a police station, then admittedly the final report filed by CCB, which is an Investigating Agency, is not in contemplation with the provisions of Section 173 (2) of the Code,” the court said.
The court also said that unlike the powers conferred by the State of Bihar under the Bihar Police Manual, dealing with duties of the police under the Special Acts, the Karnataka government had not issued such authorisation declaring the CCB a police station.