New Delhi, Jul 8: The Supreme Court has said that sanction to prosecute a public servant is not required if the alleged offence was committed when he was not discharging official duty. A bench of Justices J S Khehar and C Nagappan upheld the settled law and dismissed the appeal of two senior Punjab Police officials who had contended that a criminal case pending against them cannot be proceeded in the absence of sanction to prosecute them. The court was hearing appeal of Deputy Superintendents of Punjab Police, SS Mand and PS Parmar, who were accused of illegally detaining one Neeraj Kumar in a vehicle theft case for four days without formally arresting him. Also Read: Manipur encounter killing: Army can’t use excessive force, says Supreme Court
“Therefore, in the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case, based on the legal position declared by this Court …., we are of the considered view that sanction for prosecution of the accused (cops) in relation to the detention of Neeraj Kumar for the period from June 24, 1999 to June 28, 1999, would not be required… “We therefore hereby, endorse the conclusions drawn by the High Court to the above effect,” the bench said. The two cops, who were posted in Punjab’s Kapurthala district in 1999, had allegedly picked up Neeraj, son of an Assistant Sub-Inspector who was suspended a few days ago, in the case and showed his formal arrest after four days.
Neeraj’s mother lodged a complaint with a Punjab and Haryana High Court judge who directed a sessions judge to file a report in the matter. The sessions judge gave a report to the high court stating that the man was falsely implicated and an FIR was lodged against the two policemen. The trial court summoned the cops and framed charges against them in 2006. The cops challenged their summoning before the high court saying sanction to prosecute them was not taken. After the high court dismissed their appeal, they approached the apex court.