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Sanction for prosecution not proper: Badal’s counsel
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, September 7
Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today argued in the Supreme Court through his counsel on the issue of sanction for his prosecution , saying he could not be put to trial without proper sanction from a competent authority, even if it was assumed that the charges against him were correct.

“To put a public servant on trial without proper sanction would ruin his career. His political life could be finished by foisting false cases and by the time the court took decision, much water would have flown down and the damage would have already been done,” senior advocate K.K. Venugopal told a Bench of Mr Justice Arijit Pasayat and Mr Justice S H Kapadia.

Sanction under Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), 1988, must be taken where an accused was, at the time of alleged commission of the offence, a public servant so long as he remains a public servant when cognizance is taken, while the sanction under section 197 Cr.PC was required for offences involving acts of discharge of his duty by a public servant, the counsel said.

He said to protect public servants from frivolous prosecution, the provision of sanction had been made both in the Cr.PC and the PCA and a bar had been provided on the courts to take cognizance of a case in absence of a proper sanction.

It was also equally important that the sanction could not be given merely in a routine manner as the sanctioning authority would have to accord it with “proper application of mind” by evaluating every aspects of the charges.

“In the case of Sukhbir Singh Badal, the withdrawal of Indian Penal Code charges by a statement before the Special Court, by the prosecution and the Punjab and Haryana High Court was not permissible since the withdrawal is always subject to jurisdiction of court under Section 321 of Cr.CP,” Mr Venugopal said.

The High Court had drawn a wrong conclusion that no sanction was required for prosecution of Badal from the Governor as the Speaker of Vidhan Sabha had accorded the same and prosecution of Sukhbir Singh without sanction after dropping of certain charges under PCA and retaining the charges of abetment under Section 8 and 9 of the Act was perfectly correct, he contended.

The hearing would now resume on September 12 when Mr Venugopal would continue with his inconclusive arguments.

Since cases of nearly a dozen politicians, including several party colleagues of Badal had been clubbed together to decide the issue of sanction, the hearing was expected to be stretched to a considerable period.



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