Prior sanction for prosecuting public servants challenged in Bombay High Court

Mumbai: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Bombay High Court, challenging the amendments in the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) that contemplates a prior sanction from the government, before prosecuting a public servant.

The PIL has been filed by activist Abha Singh through her advocate Aditya Pratap. The petition has prayed for quashing of the amendments introduced in August last year. The petition states, “While for registration of FIR against a public servant, with the police or with the Anti-Corruption Bureau, no sanction is required. However, if an order is given by a magistrate to register the FIR, then it cannot be given without prior sanction of the administrative authority.”

“This amendment is ultra vires the Constitution of India and defeats the objective of our country to fight corruption. It has accorded unprecedented feeling of impunity to public servants who otherwise are rarely apprehended for their enormous acts of the corruption,” the petition reads. It adds, “The impugned amendment is discriminatory as it gives powers to the ACB to file an FIR but truncates the powers of the court to order FIR – militates against the scheme of judicial supervision on probe as provided for under the code.”

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