Can`t use pvt complaint to prosecute public servant: Court

A private person`s complaint cannot be used by a metropolitan magistrate to prosecute a public servant for works undertaken by him during the performance of his or her duties, a Delhi court has said.

Last Updated: Oct 16, 2010, 21:21 PM IST

New Delhi: A private person`s complaint
cannot be used by a metropolitan magistrate to prosecute a
public servant for works undertaken by him during the
performance of his or her duties, a Delhi court has said.

"Owing to character of certain offences as affecting
the lawful authority of public servants or public justice, the
right to prosecute has been restricted and the courts are
prohibited for taking cognisance of offences unless and until
public servants or the courts directly concerned themselves
make the complaint," Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau
said.

Lau said the CrPC casts an obligation upon the courts
to protect the public servants against the criminal liability
for actions performed in discharge of duties and to protect
them from any kind of vexatious and baseless prosecution
spited by feeling of vindictiveness on the part of private
individuals.

The court made these observations while allowing
revision petition of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP)
Gurmeet Singh and set aside summoning order issued against him
by a metropolitan magistrate on a complaint by Ramesh Chawla
in May.

Chawla had sought prosecution of Singh and other
police person and Rajeev Arora, a private person, for lodging
a false FIR against him with Model Town police station in
2001.

Chawla and Arora had at that time lodged cross cases
against each other.

"In the present case, the Metropolitan Magistrate had
granted the permission only to prosecute Arora and not the
revisionist Singh who was then Station House Officer and there
is no complaint in writing of that court or by such officer of
that court or of some other court to which that court is
subordinate," the court noted, providing relief to Singh.

It further said that Section 197 of CrPC is very clear
and it provides immunity which extends to acts done in
discharge of official duty by a public servant.

-PTI