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THERE HAS TO BE A NEXUS BETWEEN GOVT. SERVANT AND THE OFFENCE ALLEGED AGAINST HIM TO ATTRACT SECTION 197 OF CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE: Supreme Court

Team SoOLEGAL 5 Apr 2019 12:32pm

THERE HAS TO BE A NEXUS BETWEEN GOVT. SERVANT AND THE OFFENCE ALLEGED AGAINST HIM TO ATTRACT SECTION 197 OF CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE: Supreme Court

Patna High Court had 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. Supreme Court considered an appeal against such order.

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 acting or purporting to act in discharge of his duties. 
The Apex Court bench comprised of Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and observed that the grounds for quashing the complaint is not convincing to the law and hence not legally sustainable. Patna High Court quashed the complaint for two main 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. 
With regards to the nature of alleged offences against the PO (Police Officer), there was no requirement of prior sanction under Section 197 Code of Criminal Procedure. This is because the respondent did not commit the (alleged) offences while discharging his official duties or while purpoting to act in this manner.

The bench allowed the appeal and restored the complaint to its original file. The holding was 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. For attracting Serction 197 of CrPC, the alleged offence against a Govt. officer must have some form of nexus with the discharge of his official duties as Government Officer.



Tagged: Supreme Court   Section 197   Code of Criminal Procedure   Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre   Justice Dinesh Maheshwari  
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