New Delhi: Official sanction is not required for prosecution of government servants for acts committed outside the discharge of their duties, a Delhi court has said while summoning eight officials for allegedly conspiring to defame a fellow officer.
"The expression, `official duty` implies that the act or omission must have been done by the public servant in the course of his service...In discharge of his duty," the court said.
The court observed that a prima facie case under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 167 (framing incorrect documents with intent to cause injury) and 500 (punishment for defamation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) is "disclosed" against the eight Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers.
Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Navita Kumari pointed out no official sanction under section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) was required for the prosecution of the accused IRS officers as the acts allegedly committed by them against the complainant and IRS officer S K Srivastava, were not done while discharging their official duties.
"Prima facie a case under sections 120 B, 167 and 500 of IPC is found to be disclosed against the accused. Accordingly, they be summoned.
"Though accused persons are public servants, sanction is not required in the present case as their acts of entering into criminal conspiracy, framing incorrect documents with intent to cause injury or imputing false allegations of sexual harassment to defame a person, could not be said to be committed in discharge of their official duty," the MM said.
Srivastava, in his complaint, had alleged that since he had detected and reported theft of public revenue in excess of Rs 10,000 crores and other criminal activities, the accused had misused their official position to fabricate false cases of against him to defame him.