CrPC Section 197: Prosecution of Judges & Public Servants – Explained

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CrPC Section 197: Prosecution of Judges & Public Servants

1. Code

CrPC Section 197 states that no judge or public servant can be prosecuted for any act done by them in the discharge of their official duty without the sanction of the authority specified in the code.

2. Explanation

  • This section aims to protect judges and public servants from being harassed by frivolous or malicious prosecutions.
  • It ensures that no prosecution can be initiated against them without prior sanction from the competent authority.
  • The sanction is required to ensure that the prosecution is genuine and not motivated by personal vendetta.
  • The authority empowered to grant sanction varies based on the nature of the offense and the rank of the public servant involved.

3. Illustration

Imagine a police officer arrests a person based on reasonable suspicion. Later, the arrested person files a complaint alleging that the officer acted maliciously and exceeded his authority. In this case, the officer cannot be prosecuted without the sanction of the competent authority, which would typically be the Superintendent of Police.

4. Common Questions & Answers

Q: Who can grant sanction under Section 197?

A: The authority empowered to grant sanction varies depending on the rank of the public servant and the nature of the offense. For example, the sanction for a judge can be granted by the High Court, while for a police officer, it could be granted by the Superintendent of Police or the State Government.

Q: What happens if the sanction is refused?

A: If the sanction is refused, the prosecution cannot proceed. However, the complainant can challenge the refusal of sanction in a court of law.

Also Read  CrPC Section 466: Defect or Error Doesn't Invalidate Attachment

Q: What are the exceptions to Section 197?

A: There are some exceptions to Section 197, such as cases involving offenses of a grave nature or cases where the public servant has acted in bad faith.

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