15 July 2024


Supreme Court

Devinder SIngh & ors v. State of Punjab through CBI



Question of sanction can be raised at time of framing of charges

Central government sanction against policemen is not required if prosecution is able to prove its case of them having partaken in a fake encounter.

The instant case stemmed from officers of Punjab Police allegedly staging a fake encounter in 1993, a time when the State was rife with terrorist activity. On a complaint being lodged against the policemen, State sanction was obtained for prosecution and the CBI filed a charge sheet against the accused. Central sanction was not obtained, as was required under the Punjab Disturbed Areas Act 1983.

The Court discussed several judgments before enumerating principles on the sanctity and need of sanction. It concluded that the question of sanction can be raised at the time of framing of charge and can be decided on the basis of accusation. In the instant case, so long as the prosecution is able to prove its version of events, no sanction will be required, however the defendants will also have opportunity to adduce evidence in defence.


Matajog Dobey v. H.C. Bhari MANU/SC/0071/1955
Gauri Shankar Prasad v. State of Bihar & Anr. MANU/SC/0289/2000
Section 6 Punjab Disturbed Areas Act, 1983

Tags : government sanction police officer prosecution encounter

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