17 May 2020

When sanction u/s.197 of Cr.P.C. is not needed to prosecute a public servant?

If the act or omission for which the accused is charged, had prima-facie reasonable connection with discharge of his duty, then it must be held to be official attracting applicability of Section 197 of Cr.P.C.

No-sanction-under-section-197-of-Cr.P.C.-is-needed-to-prosecute-public-servant- if-offence-has-no-nexus-with -his-official-duties
In the case of Baijnath vs. State of M.P., reported in AIR 1966 S.C. 220, it was held that it is the quality of the act that is important, and if it falls within the scope and range of his official duties the protection contemplated by Section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure will be attracted. In the case at hand, the alleged act of the accused-public servant of forging and fabricating documents, creating fake notifications to defraud the State Government and different public authorities for wrongful gain of his official duties cannot be said to have any nexus with discharge of his official duties. Hence, sanction under Section 197 of Cr.P.C. for launching the prosecution against him is held to be immaterial.

Orissa High Court

Dr. Motilal Gauda
State of Orissa

Decided on 15/05/2020

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