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Sanction under sec197 CrPC required only if offence has nexus with duties of public servant
Devendra Prasad Singh Vs State of Bihar and Anr
CRIMINAL APPEAL No.579 OF 2019
About/from the judgment:
In order to attract the rigor of section 197 Cr.P.C. the offence alleged against a Government Officer must have some nexus with the discharge of his official duties as Government Officer, held the Supreme Court.
"In our view, in order to attract the rigor of Section 197 of the Cr.P.C., it is necessary that the offence alleged against a Government Officer must have some nexus or/and relation with the discharge of his official duties as a Government Officer", held the Supreme Court.
Section 197 Cr.P.C. deals with prosecution of Judges and Public Servants wherein sanction of the Government is stipulated for taking cognizance of an offence alleged to have been committed while actiing or purporting to act in discharge of his duties.
The Court was considering an appeal against the order of the High Court of Patna wherein the Court quashed the order of the First Class Judicial Magistrate taking cognizance of the complaint filed by the appellant against the respondent, Police Officer (SHO) for the offences punishable under sections 323, 341, 379 and 504 of IPC.
The complaint was quashed by the High Court of Patna for two fold reasons, firstly, that no sanction under section 197 Cr.P.C. was obtained by the prosecution for filing the complaint and secondly, on the finding that there are contradictions in the stamen of the complaint and the witnesses.
The bench comprising of Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari observed that the grounds for quashing the complaint is not well founded and therefore not legally sustainable.
Having regard to the nature of the offences alleged in the complaint against the Police Officer, no prior sanction under section 197 Cr.P.C. was required since it cannot be said that the respondent committed the alleged offences while acting in discharge of his official duties or while purporting to act in discharge of his official duties, opined the Court.
While allowing the appeal and restoring the compliant to its original file, the court held that the High Court had no jurisdiction under section 482 Cr.P.C. to appreciate the statement of witnesses and to record the inconsistencies in their statements.
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