Section 196 CrPC: Prosecution for Offences Against the State & Criminal Conspiracy

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Section 196 CrPC: Prosecution for Offences Against the State & Criminal Conspiracy

1. Code:

Section 196 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC)

2. Explanation:

Section 196 CrPC deals with the prosecution of offenses against the State and criminal conspiracy. It lays down the conditions under which a person can be prosecuted for such offenses.

Key aspects of the section:

  • Offenses Against the State: This includes offenses like sedition, waging war against the Government, and promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc.
  • Criminal Conspiracy: This refers to an agreement between two or more people to commit an illegal act.
  • Sanction Required: The section mandates that no person can be prosecuted for an offense against the State or criminal conspiracy without the sanction of the appropriate authority.
  • Authorities for Sanction: The authority granting sanction varies based on the nature of the offense and the specific circumstances. For instance, in certain cases, the sanction might be required from the Central Government, the State Government, or even the High Court.
  • Purpose of Sanction: The primary purpose of this sanction requirement is to prevent frivolous or politically motivated prosecutions and ensure that such serious charges are not used unjustly.

3. Illustration:

Consider a situation where a group of individuals are accused of plotting to overthrow the government by inciting violence and creating unrest. In such a scenario, before proceeding with a prosecution, the authorities would need to obtain a sanction from the appropriate authority as the alleged act falls under the category of offenses against the State.

Also Read  Section 241 CrPC: Conviction on Plea of Guilty - Code of Criminal Procedure

4. Common Questions and Answers:

  • Q: Who can grant sanction under Section 196 CrPC?
  • A: The authority granting sanction varies depending on the offense. For example, the Central Government may sanction prosecutions for offenses against the Central Government, while the State Government may grant sanction for offenses against the State Government. The High Court may also grant sanction in certain circumstances.
  • Q: What are the grounds on which sanction can be refused?
  • A: Sanction can be refused if the authorities find that the prosecution is frivolous, politically motivated, or based on insufficient evidence.
  • Q: What happens if a prosecution is initiated without sanction?
  • A: Such prosecution will be deemed invalid and may be quashed by the court.
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