Sanction Under Section 197 of CrPC: A Judicial Analysis in the Case of Original Name vs. CBI

Exploring the nuances of the legal system, a recent Supreme Court judgement delves into the necessity of obtaining sanction under Section 197 of the CrPC in the case involving Original Name and CBI. The judgement sheds light on the intricate balance between official duties and alleged criminal activities, providing a thoughtful analysis of the legal framework. Stay tuned for a detailed insight into the implications of this landmark decision.


  • Accused No.1 violated bank rules and regulations while processing a loan application for accused No.2’s firm, entering into a criminal conspiracy with accused Nos.3 to 6.
  • The loan amount of Rs. Three Crores was misutilized for unauthorized purposes.
  • Accused No.1 accepted forged documents knowingly and facilitated misrepresentation by accused Nos. 3 and 4.
  • Accused No.1 did not conduct due diligence in analyzing financial statements and verifications as required.
  • Accused No.1 intentionally omitted to ascertain the genuineness of various documents and violated banking rules.
  • Accused No.1 did not make efforts to understand the rights of tenants occupying the collateral property, which could adversely affect bank interests.
  • Accused No.1 prepared loan proposals without justifying reductions, and knowingly processed documents with fraudulent content.
  • The acts of accused No.1 and others constituted offenses of cheating, personation, and forgery, causing wrongful loss to the bank.
  • The relevant court rejected the discharge application filed by accused No.1, citing sufficient evidence for framing charges.
  • The High Court allowed the Criminal Revision Petition and discharged B.A. Srinivasan of various offences.
  • B.A. Srinivasan retired as Assistant General Manager of Vijaya Bank before the charge-sheet was filed.
  • The charge-sheet was filed based on allegations of fraud and conspiracy involving B.A. Srinivasan and others.
  • The High Court stated that administrative lapses cannot be considered at the time of framing charges.
  • The High Court granted discharge to B.A. Srinivasan on the issue of absence of sanction under Section 197 of the CrPC.

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  • The learned standing counsel for CBI argued that offences under the Indian Penal Code do not require sanction under Section 197 of the CrPC.
  • At the stage of framing charges, it is challenging to determine if the alleged offences, especially conspiracy, are connected to official capacity.
  • The case of N.K. Ganguly was cited where accused were prosecuted for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act along with IPC offences.
  • It was contended that for Section 197 of the CrPC to apply, the action must be linked to official duties of a public servant.
  • Sanction under Section 197 is crucial to avoid false or frivolous cases against a public servant, even after retirement.
  • Mrs. Sonia Mathur argued that the protection under Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act is valid only while in service, not after retirement.
  • The petitioner’s counsel emphasized the necessity of sanction under Section 197 of the CrPC.
  • Mrs. V. Mohana, a learned Senior Advocate, argues that Original Name (Respondent No 1) retired in 2012 and the allegations against him amount to administrative lapses without criminal intent.
  • She contends that the charges under the relevant sections should not apply.
  • Mrs. V. Mohana suggests that the Court should not interfere in the matter under Article 136(1) of the Constitution.

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  • The analysis focuses on the importance of determining if the alleged offense was committed in discharge of official duty for obtaining previous sanction under Section 197 CrPC.
  • Courts should only consider the uncontroverted allegations in the complaint to determine if a charge can be framed, without delving into disputed facts akin to a trial court.
  • Opinion on framing charges against accused no.1 based on sufficient materials, following consistent legal precedents and avoiding non-application of mind by the Special Court.
  • In some cases, it may be necessary to allow the defense an opportunity to prove that the act was performed in the course of official duty.
  • Reference to the retired public servants’ situation where the rejection of prosecution sanction post-retirement was discussed, indicating the considerations needed in such cases.
  • Importance of examining the allegations in the final report against the appellants to determine the necessity of obtaining previous sanction under Section 197 CrPC.
  • The analysis includes references to the legal requirements for previous sanction before taking cognizance of alleged offenses by a Special Judge in the case at hand.
  • Judicial observations from the case of Rishipal Singh vs. State of Uttar Pradesh emphasizing the test for quashing a prosecution at the initial stage based on uncontroverted allegations and the prevention of abuse of legal process and miscarriage of justice.
  • Discussion on the offenses involved in the N.K. Ganguly case, including conspiracy charges under relevant sections, and the context-specific conclusion drawn based on available facts.
  • The need for sanction under Section 197 of the Code may have to be determined from stage to stage of the proceedings.
  • Acts of a public servant must have a reasonable connection to the discharge of official duty to claim protection under Section 197.
  • Sanction is not required if the public servant had already retired at the time of cognizance by the court.
  • Acts using official status as a mere cloak for unlawful gains are not protected under Section 197.
  • Question of sanction can be raised at any time after cognizance, framing of charge, or even at the conclusion of trial.
  • Acts performed for personal pleasure or benefit, under the color of authority, are not protected under the doctrine of State immunity.
  • The High Court erred in allowing Criminal Revision Petition and accepting the challenge raised by the Respondent on the issue of sanction.
  • The Appeal allowed, setting aside the High Court’s view, restoring the Trial Court’s order, and dismissing the Respondent’s application for discharge.
  • The facts and allegations were considered only for the purpose of addressing the issue of sanction, not expressing any view on merits.
  • The matter is listed before the Special Court on 11.12.2019, where the Respondent is required to appear, and further proceedings will follow in accordance with the law.

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Case Number: Crl.A. No.-001837-001837 / 2019

Click here to read/download original judgement

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