The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 is an act of the Parliament of India enacted to combat corruption n government agencies and public section businesses in India. Section 13 of the P.C.Act, 1988 states “Criminal Misconduct by a public servant”. A public servant is said to commit the offence of criminal misconduct –
- If he dishonestly or fraudulently misappropriates or otherwise converts for his own use any property entrusted to him or under his control as a public servant or allows any other person so to do; or
- If he by corrupt or illegal means, obtains for himself or any other person any valuable thing or pecuniary advantage.
In context of the above stated provision, Case No. 2633 of 2021 Ram Naresh Singh Tomar versus State of U.P.Thru. S.P.,CBI/ACB, Lucknow. Dhirendra Singh Panwar being counsel for Applicant and Anurag Kumar Singh being counsel for Opposite Party. The case was heard by Hon’ble Mohd. Faiz Alam Khan, J.
The summary of the case states the: Allegations against the applicant is to the tune that he being the Godown Incharge of Mitauli Block had made false entries about the receipt and issue of BPL wheat and rice in the stock register as well as in the issue register and had not distributed the food-grain to the Kotedars and in connivance with other co-accused persons had diverted and misappropriated the BPL food-grain. It is further submitted that CBI has submitted the charge sheet against the applicant and others under Sections 120-B, 409, 420, 468, 471 IPC & 13(2) r/w 13(1) (c) & (d) of P.C. Act 1988 and thereafter the court has taken cognizance and issued summons against the applicant, vide order dated 21.07.2020.
Learned counsel for the applicant while drawing the attention of this Court to the order dated 30.6.2020, whereby the sanction for the prosecution has been granted by the appropriate authority submits that the sanction order dated 30.6.2020 is absolutely illegal as the same is silent on the point as to what material or documents were placed before the sanctioning authority for consideration and what material has actually been perused by the authority at the time of applying his mind at the time of granting sanction for prosecution and therefore the sanction for prosecution is not valid and thus the sanction order as well as the order dated 21.7.2020, whereby the cognizance has been taken is absolutely illegal and thus the abuse of the process of law.
It is further submitted that CBI had submitted charge sheet against the applicant without there being sufficient material and thus the sanctioning order and the order whereby cognizance has been taken as well as all the proceedings of the case is abuse of process of law and be quashed.
The main principles governing the issue have been culled out which reads as follows:
- It is incumbent on the prosecution to prove that the valid sanction has been granted by the sanctioning authority after being satisfied that a case for sanction has been made out.
- The sanction order may expressly show that the sanctioning authority has perused the material placed before it and, after consideration of the circumstances, has granted sanction for prosecution.
- The prosecution may prove by adducing the evidence that the material was placed before the sanctioning authority and its satisfaction was arrived at upon perusal of the material placed before it.
- Grant of sanction is only an administrative function and the sanctioning authority is required to prima facie reach the satisfaction that relevant facts would constitute the offence.
- The adequacy of material placed before the sanctioning authority cannot be gone into by the court as it does not sit in appeal over the sanction order.
- If the sanctioning authority has perused all the materials placed before it and some of them have not been proved that would not vitiate the order of sanction.
- The order of sanction is a prerequisite as it is intended to provide a safeguard to a public servant against frivolous and vexatious litigants, but simultaneously an order of sanction should not be construed in a pedantic manner and there should not be a hypertechnical approach to test its validity.
Judgement passed by Hon’ble Judge states: “Having regard to the above mentioned facts and the law discussed herein before, it is primafacie evident that no illegality or irregularity appears to have been committed by the Sanctioning Authority in according the prosecution sanction against the applicant. However, the applicant shall have liberty to take all pleas including the plea of non-application of mind by the sanctioning authority in his defence during the course of trial but at this stage on the grounds taken by the applicant the proceedings and cognizance taking order could not be quashed.”