In the Matter at hand Prashanta Kumar Dash v. State of Orissa a group of transfer petitions were submitted by the director of the Seashore Group of Companies asking that the criminal charges that are now being brought against him be transferred to the Special Judge Central Bureau of Investigation. The Central Board of Investigation was given broad authority by the Supreme Court to look into any claim made against the Seashore Group of Companies. On March 7, 2015, the CBI submitted a charge sheet charging 22 FIRs. Affronted by the CBI’s decision to only take 22 FIRs, the petitioner filed a plea asking for the transfer of 19 FIRs to the Special Judge, CBI. The Supreme Court denied the plea, ruling that the CBI did not take over the investigation of the cases that were not included.
Analysis of Court Decision
The Orissa High Court’s Single Judge Bench denied the transfer applications, ruling that none of the cases sought to be transferred constituted the same offence or was a part of the same cause of action. The Supreme Court’s order would be overturned if the petitioner’s plea were to be granted, the Court further stated. As a result, the Court denied the applications for transfers.
The court noted that the petitioner had previously filed a similar application with the Supreme Court and that he had chosen not to withdraw that writ petition, which had given him the right to file a similar case with the High Court. The Court ruled that it would not be appropriate for the Court to consider the request that the Special Judge, CBI, Bhubaneswar now preside over the cases resulting from the 19 FIRs that were not included. The court further noted that, while in a Special CBI Court, the CBI itself serves as the prosecutor, in the current instance, the local Police will serve as the prosecutor in the 19 cases that were not included. The Court concluded that it would not be legal for such matters to be transferred to the CBI Court.
CASE NAME – Prashanta Kumar Dash v. State of Orissa, Transfer Petition (Cri) No. 3 of 2023