In the matter of Dayal Singh & Ors. Vs. State of Uttaranchal, the Supreme Court has held that the Investigating Officer, as well as the doctor who are dealing with the investigation of a criminal case, are obliged to act in accordance with the police manual and the known canons of medical practice, respectively. They are both obliged to be diligent, truthful and fair in their approach and investigation.
A default or breach of duty, intentionally or otherwise, can sometimes prove fatal to the case of the prosecution. An Investigating Officer is completely responsible and answerable for the manner and methodology adopted in completing his investigation. Where the default and omission is so flagrant that it speaks volumes of a deliberate act or such irresponsible attitude of investigation, no court can afford to overlook it, whether it did or did not cause prejudice to the case of the prosecution. It is possible that despite such default/omission, the prosecution may still prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and the court can so return its finding.
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