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Delhi HC clarifies section 17A meaning

By IndianMandarins- 30 Jan 2019


The Delhi High Court has recently ruled that when the act of a public servant is ex-facie criminal or constitutes an offense, prior approval of the Government as mandated under Section 17A of Prevention of Corruption Act would not be necessary.


This ruling was made by Justice Najmi Waziri while hearing the petitions filed by CBI Officers Rakesh Asthana And Devender Kumar for quashing the FIR registered by CBI against them.


They were accused of taking Rs. 03 crores in bribe from businessman Sathish Babu Sana to sabotage a money laundering investigation against meat exporter Moin Qureshi.


The petitioner Rakesh Asthana has impugned the registration of the 2018 FIR primarily on two grounds: first, it is in breach of Section 17A of PC Act, which requires prior sanction/ permission from the Government of India before registration of the FIR and second, it is actuated by malice of then CBI Director Alok Verma against the petitioner.


However, the Additional Solicitor General submitted on behalf of the CBI that permission under section 17A of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 was not at all warranted because the allegations in the complaint, on the basis of which the FIR has been registered after due process, cannot be said to be in discharge of the official functions or duties of the officers against whom allegations have been made.

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