Monday 12 February 2024

What is basic concept of Immunity to government servant from prosecution as per S 197 of CRPC?

 The concept of immunity for government servants from prosecution under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) is primarily governed by Section 197. It's important to understand that this is not absolute immunity, but rather a conditional safeguard against vexatious and frivolous complaints.

Here's a breakdown of the key points:

Who is covered?

  • Judges and magistrates
  • Public servants who cannot be removed from their positions without approval from the government

What acts are covered?

  • Offenses alleged to have been committed while acting or purporting to act in the discharge of official duties

What does immunity mean?

  • No court can take cognizance of such an offense without prior sanction from the appropriate government (central or state, depending on the official's level)

Crucial conditions:

  • The act must be done in good faith and within the official's power and authority.
  • The immunity does not apply to certain serious offenses like corruption, sexual assault, or offenses under specific sections of the Indian Penal Code.

Purpose of the immunity:

  • To protect public servants from frivolous complaints that could hinder their efficient discharge of duties.
  • To prevent undue interference in their decision-making and execution of orders.

Important things to remember:

  • This immunity is not a license to commit crimes. Public servants are still accountable for their actions.
  • If the appropriate government denies sanction for prosecution, it doesn't necessarily mean the act was legal, but rather that prosecution may not be in the public interest.
  • The judiciary plays a crucial role in interpreting and applying Section 197, ensuring a balance between protecting public servants and upholding the rule of law.
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