Obtaining sanction is a precursory sacrosanct step to initiate criminal proceedings against public officer, and the lack of a valid sanction precludes the court from taking cognizance of the offence alleged.
Obtaining sanction is a precursory sacrosanct step to initiate criminal proceedings against public officer, and the lack of a valid sanction precludes the court from taking cognizance of the offence alleged. Delhi High Court laid down following principles, based on various precedents and position of law, concerned authority is required to follow when sanction is to be given for conducting investigation against a public officer.
- Grant of sanction is a sacrosanct act and is intended to provide safeguard to a public servant against frivolous and vexatious litigation.
- The sanctioning authority after being apprised of all the facts, must be of an opinion that prima-facie a case is made out against the public servant.
- Thus, for a valid sanction the sanctioning authority must be apprised of all the relevant material and relevant facts in relation to the commission of the offence.
- This application of mind by the sanctioning authority is a sine qua non for a valid sanction.
- The ratio of the sanction order must speak for itself and should enunciate that the sanctioning authority has gone through the entire record of the investigation. Thus, the sanction order must expressly show that the sanctioning authority has perused the material placed before it, and after considering the circumstances in the case against the public servant, has granted sanction.
- If the application of mind by the sanctioning authority is not apparent from the sanction order itself then the burden of proving that the entire relevant record was placed before the sanctioning authority rests on the prosecution. The prosecution must establish and satisfy the court by leading evidence that the entire record of investigation was placed before the sanctioning authority.
[Ashok Kumar Aggarwal vs. Central Bureau of Investigation]
(Delhi HC, 13.01.2016)