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HomeLawPatna High Court denies anticipatory bail to Vice-Chancellor of Magadh University

Patna High Court denies anticipatory bail to Vice-Chancellor of Magadh University

The Court was hearing two pleas filed by Dr. Prasad, who also holds additional charge of Veer Kunwar Singh University, seeking anticipatory bail and also seeking quashing of the first information report (FIR) lodged against him last year.

The contention of the accused was that the prosecution had not obtained the mandatory sanction to prosecute him under Section 17A of the PC Act.

Single-judge Justice Ashutosh Kumar referred to various judgments of the Supreme Court on interpretation of this provision along with Section 197(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), to hold that not every offence committed by a public servant would require such a sanction.

“Nor every act done by him while he is actually engaged in the performance of his official duties, so that, if questioned, it could be claimed to have been done by virtue of the office, would require such sanction. It is only when the act complained of is directly connected with the official duties that sanction is necessary. If the act complained has no nexus or reasonable connection or relevance to the official act or duty and the act is otherwise illegal, unlawful or in the nature of an offence, the shelter of 197 CrPC is not available, which protection is qualified and conditional,” Justice Kumar held.

The purpose of the provision is to protect public servants from baseless prosecution, the Court underlined.

“The protective shield is for an honest public servant and not for a corrupt one...There is a clear division between those acts which constitute an offence and those acts, though done while discharging the official duties of the public servant, but which do not constitute an act done in exercise of official duties or functions,” the judge added.

Source: Barandbench

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