Charge under IPC can continue irrespective of what PC Act sanctions, rules SC

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The Supreme Court has upheld Jharkhand High Court’s order that the charge framed against an accused for offence punishable under the Indian Penal Code can continue irrespective of the fact that sanction in respect of offence punishable under Prevention of Corruption Act, is not forthcoming.

A three-judge bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Sanjiv Khanna also directed the Trial Court to keep in mind while proceeding with the trial against the petitioner that if sanction to prosecute the petitioner for offence punishable under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 is not or has not been granted, the question of proceeding against the petitioner for that charge does not arise. This was also made clear by the High Court in its Judgement.

A Special leave petition was filed by an employee/accused of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, against whom charges were framed by the Trial Court, holding that being the employees of a public sector company are not entitled to protection by way of sanction u/s 197 CrPC and therefore proceeded to frame the Charges under section 120 (B)/406/407/409/420 of the IPC.

When this order was challenged before the High Court and a plea was filed by accused to quash the charge framed against him, he contended that the charge under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and the Indian Penal Code were similar. According to him, since there was no prosecution sanction under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, the prosecution under Indian Penal Code also cannot be sustained. He also cited a judgement from the Allahabad High Court to support his contention.

However, the High Court found no relevance in Allahabad High Court’s order, since in that case the accused was entitled to protection of sanction under both IPC and PC Act. In the present case, the accused was not entitled to protection under either of the two acts, and the plea was liable to be dismissed.

The Apex Court also declined to deviate from the view taken by the High Court that the charge against the petitioner for offence punishable under the Indian Penal Code can continue irrespective of the fact that sanction in respect of offence punishable under Prevention of Corruption Act,  is not forthcoming.

The Court noted that the High Court had made it clear that if sanction to prosecute the petitioner for offence punishable under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 is not or has not been granted, the question of proceeding against the petitioner for that charge does not arise. This aspect should be borne in mind by the Trial Court while proceeding with the trial against the petitioner.

Read the order here;

10676_2020_33_9_23168_Order_29-Jul-2020

-India Legal Bureau

The post Charge under IPC can continue irrespective of what PC Act sanctions, rules SC appeared first on India Legal.

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