Saturday, 6 April 2019

Whether Sanction U/S 197 CrPC is required If Offence Has no Nexus With Duties Of Public Servant?

The High Court quashed the complaint
essentially on two grounds; First, no sanction under
Section 197 of the Cr.P.C was obtained by the

prosecution for filing the complaint against
respondent No. 2 and the second, there are
contradictions in the statement of the complainant
and the witnesses.
8. In our view, both the grounds, which found
favour with the High Court for quashing the
complaint, are not well founded and hence legally
unsustainable.
9. So far as the first ground is concerned, we
have perused the complaint filed by the appellant
against respondent No. 2. Having regard to the
nature of the allegations made by the complainant
against respondent No. 2, who was the Police
Officer(SHO) at the relevant time, we are of the view
that no prior sanction to prosecute respondent No.
2 under Section 197 of the Cr.P.C. was required for
filing such complaint.

10. In other words, it cannot be contended that
respondent No. 2 committed the alleged offences
while acting in discharge of his official duties or
while purporting to act in discharge of his official
duties so as to attract the rigor of Section 197 of the
Cr.P.C.
11. 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. In this
case, we do not find it to be so.

NON REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL No.579 OF 2019
(Arising out of S.L.P.(Crl.) No.21 of 2018)

Devendra Prasad Singh Vs State of Bihar

Abhay Manohar Sapre, J.
Dated: April 02, 2019.

1. Leave granted.
2. This appeal is directed against the final
judgment and order dated 09.08.2017 passed by
the High Court of Judicature at Patna in Crl. M. No.
35751 of 2014 whereby the High Court allowed the
application filed by respondent No.2 herein under

Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973
(hereinafter referred to as “Cr.P.C.) and quashed
the order dated 21.01.2014 passed by the Judicial
Magistrate 1st class, Patna in Complaint Case No.
1063 (c) of 2013 by which the Magistrate had taken
cognizance of the complaint filed by the appellant
herein against respondent No. 2 for commission of
the offences punishable under Sections 323, 341,
379 and 504 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860
(hereinafter referred to as “IPC”).
3. A few relevant facts need mention hereinbelow
for the disposal of this appeal, which involves a
short point.
4. The question, which arises for consideration in
this appeal, is whether the High Court was justified
in quashing the complaint filed by the appellant
(complainant) against respondent No. 2 holding that
there was no prima facie case made out against

respondent No. 2 for issuance of the process of the
summons to him for commission of the offences
punishable under Sections 323, 341, 379 and 504
IPC.
5. Having heard the learned counsel for the
parties and on perusal of the record of the case, we
are constrained to allow the appeal, set aside the
impugned order and restore the aforementioned
complaint case to its file for being proceeded with on
merits in accordance with law.
6. In other words, we are of the view that the
High Court was not justified in quashing the
aforementioned complaint filed by the appellant
herein against respondent No. 2. It should have
been tried on merits in accordance with law.
7. The High Court quashed the complaint
essentially on two grounds; First, no sanction under
Section 197 of the Cr.P.C was obtained by the

prosecution for filing the complaint against
respondent No. 2 and the second, there are
contradictions in the statement of the complainant
and the witnesses.
8. In our view, both the grounds, which found
favour with the High Court for quashing the
complaint, are not well founded and hence legally
unsustainable.
9. So far as the first ground is concerned, we
have perused the complaint filed by the appellant
against respondent No. 2. Having regard to the
nature of the allegations made by the complainant
against respondent No. 2, who was the Police
Officer(SHO) at the relevant time, we are of the view
that no prior sanction to prosecute respondent No.
2 under Section 197 of the Cr.P.C. was required for
filing such complaint.

10. In other words, it cannot be contended that
respondent No. 2 committed the alleged offences
while acting in discharge of his official duties or
while purporting to act in discharge of his official
duties so as to attract the rigor of Section 197 of the
Cr.P.C.
11. 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. In this
case, we do not find it to be so.
12. So far as the second ground is concerned, we
are of the view that the High Court while hearing
the application under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C.
had no jurisdiction to appreciate the statement of
the witnesses and record a finding that there were
inconsistencies in their statements and, therefore,

there was no prima facie case made out against
respondent No.2. In our view, this could be done
only in the trial while deciding the issues on the
merits or/and by the Appellate Court while deciding
the appeal arising out of the final order passed by
the Trial Court but not in Section 482 Cr.P.C.
proceedings.
13. In view of the foregoing discussion, we allow
the appeal, set aside the impugned order and
restore the aforementioned complaint case to its
original file for being proceeded with on merits in
accordance with law.
14. We, however, make it clear that we have not
set out the facts of the case in detail and nor have
recorded any finding on facts either way else it
would have caused prejudice to the parties in the
trial.

15. The Magistrate will proceed with the complaint
and decide the same strictly in accordance with law
on merits without being influenced by any
observations made by the High Court in the
impugned order and in this order.
………...................................J.
[ABHAY MANOHAR SAPRE]
....……..................................J.
[DINESH MAHESHWARI]
New Delhi;
April 02, 2019.

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