No prior sanctions are required under S. 192 (1); CrPC to prosecute B.S. Yeddyurappa and his son

Karnataka High Court: In a criminal revision petition filed on the grounds of misuse of official position and amassing wealth disproportionate to their known sources, against one of the political leaders named B.S. Yeddyurappa who was then Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka and his son B.Y. Raghvendra who is also a Member of Parliament representing Shimoga since the year 2009, the Court considered the important issue of requirement of sanctions for prosecuting any public servant under Section 197 (1); CrPC as a matter of course, in every case and held that in  situations, where it was no duty of public servant to commit a criminal act in discharge of his or her public duty then sanctions under the aforesaid section is no bar to the prosecution  unless expressly provided in a particular statute. The Court further referred the Supreme Court decision in Ajoy Acharya v. State Bureau of Investigation against Economic Offences, Criminal Appeal No. 1455 of 2013 and following the Supreme Court’s decision held that situations where accused holds more than one office or where accused no more holds that office which he is alleged to have misused, only the prior sanctions of the Competent Authority of the office which the person had misused is required.

In the instant case where petitioners and respondents were represented by Shyam Sundar and M.T. Nanaiah, the Court has clubbed many petitions on same line of facts and charges which involves misuse of official position, acquiring land in violation of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961, entering into benami transactions and commission of offences which attracts various sections of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 by respondents who are public servants holding offices of great importance.

The Court while rejecting the order of the lower court which said that prior sanction under Section 192(1); CrPC is required to prosecute the public servants in the instant case, held that questions as to necessity of sanctions for prosecution will be determined by the trial court and can be raised at any stage of trial, not necessarily as soon as complaint is filed. Shri Vinod.B v. K.S. Eshwarappa, decided on 21.10.2014

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