Prior Sanction is not required to prosecute any public servant under Section 197, Code of Criminal Procedure if the act in question has no connection with the discharge of official duties.

Devendra Prasad Singh V. State of Bihar

2019 SCC ONLINE SC 464


Appeal against final judgment passed by the High Court of Patna, whereby High Court quashed the order passed by the Ld. Trial court (JMFC), wherein the Magistrate took cognizance filed by the appellant (Devendra Prasad Singh-complainant) against respondent no.2 (SHO), for commission of offence u/s 323/341/379/504 IPC.

  • QUESTION OF LAW:- whether High Court was justified in quashing the complaint filed by appellant (Devendra Prasad Singh) against the respondent no.2 (SHO), Held- there is no prima facie case made out against the respondent no. 2 for issuance of process of summons, for the offences mentioned hereinabove.
  • High Court quashed on 2 grounds:
    • No sanction u/s 197 Cr.P.C. was obtained by prosecution against respondent no. 2.
    • There was contradiction in statement of the complainant (appellant herein) and witnesses.
  • Supreme Court:- grounds not well founded by the High Court
    • First ground- finding- No prior sanction was required to prosecute the respondent u/s 197 Cr.P.C. for filing such complaint- or the he committed alleged offences while discharging his official duties, so to attract the rigor of section 197 Cr.P.C.
    • The offence alleged must have some nexus or relation with the discharge of official duties as a Govt. officer.
    • Second ground- finding- the High Court had no Jurisdiction to appreciate statements of witnesses and record finding that there are inconsistencies — this could only be done during Trial while deciding the case on merits and/or by the appellate court while deciding the appeal arising out of the finial order passed by Trial Court but not u/s 482 Cr.P.C.