No need of prior sanction for registration of FIR against a public servant: HC - Hindustan Times
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No need of prior sanction for registration of FIR against a public servant: HC

ByJItendra Sarin
Feb 18, 2024 08:12 AM IST

The court noted that even if obtaining sanction was required for commencing legal proceedings, it should be obtained when presenting the chargesheet before the magistrate and when the magistrate took cognizance of the matter.

PRAYAGRAJ: Dismissing an anticipatory bail application, the Allahabad high court has observed that there is no mandatory need for prior sanction for lodging an FIR and conducting an investigation even against a public servant.

The applicant had sought anticipatory bail concerning an FIR involving the alleged offences under section 420 (cheating) and other related sections of Indian Penal Code and under section 12 of Passport Act. (Pic for representation)
The applicant had sought anticipatory bail concerning an FIR involving the alleged offences under section 420 (cheating) and other related sections of Indian Penal Code and under section 12 of Passport Act. (Pic for representation)

The court noted that even if obtaining sanction was required for commencing legal proceedings, it should be obtained when presenting the chargesheet before the magistrate and when the magistrate took cognizance of the matter.

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Dismissing the anticipatory bail application filed by one Ranjeet, who had allegedly obtained three passports under different names, justice Krishan Pahal observed, “For institution of FIR and investigation thereupon, there is no obligatory requirement to secure prior sanction even against a public servant, as per mandate of code of criminal procedure. It shall equally apply to the persons charged under the Passport Act, 1967. When obtaining sanction is prerequisite for initiating legal proceedings, it must be secured at the stage of presentation of chargesheet before the magistrate and taking of the cognizance thereupon”.

The applicant had sought anticipatory bail concerning an FIR involving the alleged offences under section 420 (cheating) and other related sections of Indian Penal Code and under section 12 of Passport Act, 1967 at police station – Barhalganj of Gorakhpur district.

The court referred to the case of P. Prathapachandran Vs Central Bureau of Investigation (2002) and noted that the relevant time for sanction to prosecute under section Passport Act is when the court was about to take cognizance of the offence. Therefore, the applicant’s objections to the validity of the sanction and the authority of the officer, who granted were unfounded.

Referring to RS Nayak Vs AR Antulay (1984), the court reiterated that the valid sanction was necessary before taking cognizance of enumerated offences. It was concluded that the argument against the availability of sanction during the FIR or investigation stage lacked merit. Therefore, no sanction was needed for the investigation in this case.

In addition to it, the court in its judgment dated February 13 also observed that the criteria for granting anticipatory bail under section 438 of criminal procedure code differed from those of other bails under section 439 of Criminal Procedure Code. Anticipatory bail aimed to protect individual rights, preventing the misuse of arrest powers and shielding the innocent individuals from harassment. However, it posed a challenge in balancing individual rights with the interests of justice.

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