Sanction for Prosecution Special Procedure : Change in Rules of Evidence and
Criminal Procedure (Sections 20-24)
Section 19 - Previous Sanction Necessary for Prosecution
Sanction Requirement: Before a court can start a case against a public servant for specific offenses (listed as sections 7, 11, 13, and 15), prior approval or sanction is necessary. Who grants this sanction depends on the type of public servant:
- For Union government employees - Central Government's sanction is required.
- For State government employees - State Government's sanction is needed.
- For other public servants - The authority that can remove them from their office should grant sanction.
This section also includes individuals who were in office at the time of the alleged offense, even if they have since left that office.
Exception: Generally, only police officers, investigation agency officers, or law enforcement authorities can request sanction. Others can request it only if certain conditions are met, such as filing a complaint in court and not having it dismissed.
Sanction Timing: The authority should decide on granting sanction within three months, with a one-month extension allowed for legal consultation.
Legal Proceedings: Errors or irregularities in the sanctioning process shouldn't automatically invalidate legal proceedings or overturn judgments. The court should consider whether these errors resulted in a miscarriage of justice.
Section 20 - Presumption in Cases of Public Servants Accepting Undue Advantage
If a public servant is on trial for an offense under section 7 or section 11, and it's proven that they accepted, obtained, or tried to get an undue advantage for themselves or someone else from any person, there's a legal presumption.
This presumption means that unless proven otherwise, it's assumed that the public servant accepted or obtained the undue advantage either:
- As a motive or reward for doing a public duty improperly or dishonestly, whether they did it themselves or through another public servant, or
- Without a valid consideration or for a consideration that they knew was insufficient
Section 21 - Accused person to be a competent witness
If someone is accused of a crime under this Act, they have the right to testify in their defense during the trial, but only if they want to. No one can force them to speak. If they choose to remain silent, it can't be used against them.
They can't be asked questions about other crimes they may have committed or their character unless it's relevant to the current case.
Section 22 - The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 to apply subject to certain modifications
This section modifies the application of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 to cases related to offenses under this Act. Here are the key changes:
- Section 243(1) - The accused must promptly or within the time allowed by the Court, provide a list of witnesses and documents he intends to use.
- Section 309(2) - Proceedings cannot be delayed just because someone has filed an application under section 397.
- Section 317(3) - Allowing the judge to continue the inquiry or trial even if the accused or their lawyer is absent, with the right for the accused to recall witnesses for cross-examination later.
- Section 397(1) - if a party requests certain powers under this section, the court cannot immediately request the case records without giving the other party a chance to explain why it's necessary or if certified copies can be used instead.
Section 23 - Particulars in a charge in relation to an offence under 1[section 13(1)(a)]
Written By: Harshavardhan Prakash Deshmukh
When someone is charged with an offense under section 13(1)(a), there's a special rule:
Instead of having to provide all the nitty-gritty details in the charge, such as listing every single item or giving exact dates, it's sufficient to mention the property involved and the period during which the offense is said to have happened.
This simplified charge is still considered as one offense under the law.
But there's a limit: the time between the first and last date mentioned in the charge cannot be more than one year.
, 4th Year Of B.A.LL.B. - Modern Law College, Pune