The Hon’ble bench comprising hon’ble justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and hon’ble justice Hemant Gupta observed that “sanction from competent authorities is required when it is alleged that a public servant while discharging his official duty has committed an offense.”
Further, The hon’ble bench cited the judgment of the hon’ble supreme court in the State of Maharashtra Vs. Dr Budhikota Subbarao where it is held that “to know prima facie if a public servant has committed an omission while on public duty the yardstick which is to be followed is if the act omitted had a direct connection with the discharge of public duties”
In the instant case, Indra Devi appellant herein sold a piece of land to one of the respondents in the present case Megharam and it is alleged by Indra Devi that said Megharam with the intention to grab the land and house occupied by the appellant and her husband enlarged the dimensions of the plot which is sold to him in collusion with the then executive officer of the Municipality, one Surender Kumar Mathur and “the concerned clerk and others” but nowhere in the fir and charge sheet it is mentioned what is the name of the concerned clerk.
But the appellants contended that the involvement of Respondent herein who is clerk only came to light during the investigation.
Subsequently, the clerk moved an application before the trial court for benefit provision of section 197 of Crpc stating that he was a public servant but the application was dismissed.
Thereafter concerned clerk filed a Criminal Miscellaneous Petition under Section 482 of the CrPC before the High Court of Judicature at Jodhpur assailing the said order of the trial court.
The present SLP is by Indra Devi against the order of the high court.
Finally, on hearing the appeal the hon’ble bench granted protection to the clerk recognizing him as a public servant under section 197 of Crpc.