No diary entry doesn't make prosecution illegal: SC

A bench of justices N V Ramana and S Abdul Nazeer passed the judgement while allowing an appeal filed by the Karnataka government against the quashing of a disproportionate assets case filed by the Lokayukta police against former PWD secretary C Mrutyunjayaswamy and Assistant Engineer Davengere H Srinivas. DH file photo

The Supreme Court has held that the police's failure to make an entry about preliminary investigation in the general diary would not by itself make prosecution of the accused illegal.

As per the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), there is no bar for the police to investigate an offence on the basis of confidential information, even without its entry in the general diary.

A bench of justices N V Ramana and S Abdul Nazeer passed the judgement while allowing an appeal filed by the Karnataka government against the quashing of a disproportionate assets case filed by the Lokayukta police against former PWD secretary C Mrutyunjayaswamy and Assistant Engineer Davengere H Srinivas.

The high court had granted them relief saying that the proceedings against them conducted without entry into the station diary were liable to be quashed.

Additional Advocate General Devadatt Kamat, appearing for the Karnataka government, relied upon the Lalitha Kumari case (2014), wherein the court had held that entry in the general diary was not a pre-condition for lodging an FIR.

Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, appearing for the officers, said illegality is at the root of the matter.

The top court agreed with the contention of the state government. It said a lot of time has already been wasted in unnecessary litigations and that the trial court should proceed expeditiously without being influenced by any observations.

"Our conclusion herein is strengthened by the fact that CrPC itself has differentiated between irregularity and illegality. The obligation of maintenance of General Diary is part, of course, of conduct of the concerned officer, which may not itself have any bearing on the criminal trial, unless some grave prejudice going to the root of matter is shown to exist at the time of the trial," the bench said.

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No diary entry doesn't make prosecution illegal: SC

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