Allahabad High Court: No prior sanction needed for FIR against civil servants

HC observes that the criteria for granting anticipatory bail under Section 438 of CrPC differs from those of other bails under Section 439

Allahabad High Court (photo: IANS)
Allahabad High Court (photo: IANS)


The Allahabad High Court has ruled that it is not mandatory to procure prior sanction for the lodging of an FIR and investigation against civil servants.

The court also observed that even if sanction is required for initiating legal proceedings, it should be obtained while submitting the charge sheet before a magistrate and when the magistrate takes cognisance of the matter.

The high court gave this ruling while dismissing an anticipatory bail plea filed by one Ranjeet, who had allegedly obtained three passports under different names.

In passing the order, justice Krishan Pahal observed, "For the institution of FIR and investigation thereupon, there is no obligatory requirement to secure prior sanction even against a public servant, as per the mandate of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It shall equally apply to persons charged under the Passport Act, 1967."

The applicant had sought anticipatory bail in connection with an FIR against him for alleged offences under Section 420 (cheating) and other sections of the IPC and under Section 12 of the Passport Act.

The FIR was lodged at Barhalganj police station in Gorakhpur.

The high court referred to the case of P. Prathapachandran Vs CBI (2002) and noted that the relevant time for sanction to prosecute under the Passport Act is when the court is about to take cognisance of the offence.

Therefore, the applicant's objections to the validity of the sanction and the authority of the officer who granted it are unfounded.

Referring to RS Nayak Vs AR Antulay (1984) case, the bench reiterated that valid sanction is necessary before taking cognisance of enumerated offences. It concluded that the argument against the availability of sanction during the FIR or investigation stage lacks merit. Therefore, no sanction is needed for the investigation in this case.

In addition, the court also observed that the criteria for granting anticipatory bail under Section 438 of CrPC differs from those of other bails under Section 439 of CrPC.

Anticipatory bail aims to protect individual rights, preventing the misuse of arrest powers and shielding innocent individuals from harassment. However, it poses a challenge in balancing individual rights with the interests of justice, the court said.

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines