The appellant, acting as the complainant, filed a First Information Report dated 19.12.2016 (referred to as 'the complaint' in the impugned order), alleging that respondent No.2 and another individual were unlawfully generating documents pertaining to property in the name of a deceased individual, with full knowledge of their fraudulent nature. These documents included, but were not limited to, a death certificate and a family tree of the original successor of the land belonging to the appellant, all for the purpose of unlawful financial gain. The aforementioned First Information Report was received and recorded by the Haleebedu Police Station, Belur, as Crime No. 323/2016, under Sections 409, 419, 420, 423, 465, 466, 467, 468, 471, and 473 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC), in conjunction with Section 149 and Section 34 thereof. The complainant-appellant further alleged that the accused, a public servant, was complicit in the forgery of official documents by abusing their official capacity as a Village Accountant.


Whether a sanction is required to prosecute a public servant accused, among other things, of creating fake documents through the misuse of their official position as a Village Accountant?

Before addressing the matter, the court outlined the scope of Section 197(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code, stating that it doesn't provide immunity for every action or inaction of a public servant during their tenure. Instead, it applies solely to actions or omissions carried out by public servants in the course of their official duties.

The question is whether the public servant, when alleged to have committed offenses like fabrication of records or misappropriation of public funds, can be considered to have acted in discharge of his official duties. It is contended that it is not the official duty of the public servant to fabricate false records and misappropriate public funds in furtherance of or in the discharge of his official duties. The official capacity only enables him to fabricate the record or misappropriate the public fund etc.

The Supreme Court held that prior sanction for prosecution under Section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is not required to prosecute a public servant for the act of creating fake documents as the alleged acts do not form a part of his official duty.