The Attorney General has said that the agency cannot prosecute them without sanction from the competent authority

Less then 24 hours after the Central Bureau of Investigation filed a supplementary charge sheet accusing the former Intelligence Bureau Special Director, Rajendra Kumar, of murder and three serving IB officials of conspiracy, abduction and illegal confinement in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, the Attorney General has said that the agency cannot prosecute them without sanction from the competent authority.

Responding to a query, the Attorney General informed the CBI on Friday that it was mandatory to obtain sanction for prosecuting the intelligence officials under Section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code, without which the four accused could not be put to trial. Accordingly, the agency may soon intimate the court about the development.

In the charge sheet filed on Thursday, the agency had mentioned that an opinion from the Union Law Ministry on prosecution sanction was awaited. However, it said the Department of Personnel and Training had opined that no such sanction was required.