Sanction not required for prosecuting policemen: HC

Upholds Kollam court’s sentencing of five police officers for assault

Updated - October 11, 2021 05:55 pm IST

Published - October 11, 2021 05:54 pm IST - KOCHI

The Kerala High Court has held that sanction from the government as mandated under Section 197 Code of Criminal Procedure, is not required to prosecute police officers for their illegal acts under the guise of exercising lawful discharge of their official duties.

The court made the observation while confirming the Kollam District court's order upholding the sentences awarded to five police officers of Ezhukone police station in Kollam for assaulting an accused in 1996.

The court observed that what was intended by the incorporation of section 197 in Cr. P.C was an assurance to a public servant that for whatever things bonafide done by him in the lawful exercise of the authority conferred on him/her, protection would be afforded to him.

The court pointed out that under Section 197 Cr. P.C was not meant to protect a public servant dealing with the life or personal liberty of a man out of the purview of law or procedure established by law. Therefore, a policeman had to act within the limits of the legal domain recognized by the Code of Criminal Procedure or any other enactments.

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