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Sanction to prosecute public servants not required at pre cognizance stage

Kerala-High-Court

Kerala High Court Judgment

In this case before Justice Kemal Pasha, the issue was whether a Magistrate Court can reject a complaint merely by highlighting the reason that the relief sought for is one for forwarding the same to the police under Section 156(3) CrPC. The single Bench observes Supreme Court Judgment in Anil Kumar case is per incuriam The Single Judge observed thus “it seems that the court below has relied on the decision in Anil Kumar v. Aiyappa [2013 (4) KLT 125 (SC)] by taking a view that even for forwarding the complaint for investigation, sanction is required. The court below has not cared to consider the decision of the Constitution Bench in Nand Ram Agarwala v. H.C. Bhari and others [Matajog Dobey vs. H.C.Bhari AIR 1956 SC 44], where in an identical situation, it was held that ‘sanction was required at the stage of taking cognizance only and not prior to it’. The Court observed that the decision in Anil Kumar case, the decision of the Constitution Bench was not considered. 

The Court observed “even when the only relief sought for in the complaint is to get the complaint forwarded under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C., it cannot be said that the complaint is not maintainable, if it reflects sufficient grounds to bring out the offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act. In cases wherein the contents of the private complaint reveal sufficient grounds to invite an offence, the mere fact that the complainant has sought for the relief of forwarding it to the police under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C., does not make the complaint not maintainable. When the contents reveal offences, courts are competent to take cognizance of the offences involved or to forward the matter under Section 156 (3) Cr.P.C. When the contents do not reveal any offence, and the relief sought for is solely for getting it forwarded to the police under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C., it can be said that such a complaint is not maintainable.”

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