10 June 2024


Judgments

Supreme Court

State of Karnataka Lokayukta Police Vs. S. Subbegowda

MANU/SC/0825/2023

03.08.2023

Criminal

Interlocutory application seeking discharge in the midst of trial is not maintainable

The Appellant by way of instant appeal has assailed the judgment and order passed by the High Court whereby the High Court has allowed the said petition by discharging the Respondent (original Petitioner-Accused) from the offences charged under Section 13(1)(e) read with Section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, on the ground that, the sanction accorded to prosecute the Respondent-Accused by the Government was illegal and without jurisdiction.

In the instant case, the Special Judge proceeded with the trial, on the second application for discharge filed by the Respondent having not been pressed for by him. The Special Judge, while dismissing the third application filed by the Respondent seeking discharge after examination of 17 witnesses by the prosecution, specifically held that, the sanction accorded by the government which was a superior authority to the Karnataka Water Supply Board, of which the Respondent was an employee, was proper and valid. Such findings recorded by the Special Judge could not have been and should not have been reversed or altered by the High Court. As a matter of fact, neither the Respondent had pleaded nor the High Court opined whether any failure of justice had occasioned to the Respondent, on account of error if any, occurred in granting the sanction by the authority.

As a matter of fact, an interlocutory application seeking discharge in the midst of trial would also not be maintainable. Once the cognizance was taken by the Special Judge and the charge was framed against the Accused, the trial could neither have been stayed nor scuttled in the midst of it in view of Section 19(3) of the said Act. In the instant case, though the issue of validity of sanction was raised at the earlier point of time, the same was not pressed for. The only stage open to the Respondent-Accused in that situation was to raise the said issue at the final arguments in the trial in accordance with law. The impugned order passed by the High Court is set aside. Appeal allowed.

Tags : Trial Discharge Legality

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