DEVINDER SINGH & ORS. Vs. STATE OF PUNJAB THROUGH CBI
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: PUNJAB & HARYANA)
Devinder Singh And Ors.
STATE OF PUNJAB THROUGH CBI
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(1.) Leave granted in all the special leave petitions.
(2.) In the appeals the question involved is whether in view of the provisions contained in section 6 of Punjab Disturbed Areas Act, 1983 (as amended in 1989) (for short "the 1983 Act") the prosecution or other legal proceedings relating to Police officers can be instituted without prior sanction of the Central Government.
(3.) The case set up by the appellants in Criminal Appeal No.190 of 2003 is that they are the officers of the Punjab Police. At the relevant time they were entrusted with the duties and responsibilities of public order and peace in the State of Punjab. It is averred by the appellants that, in the early 1980s, there was a sudden spurt in the terrorist activities, massive killings at the hands of terrorists, looting, extortions, kidnapping, resulting into total collapse of the civil administration. More than 25,000 civilians, 1800 men in uniform and their relatives had been killed at the hands of the terrorists resulting into migration of civil population in the border districts of Amritsar, Ferozpur and Gurdaspur. District Amritsar was bifurcated into three police districts for the purpose of better administration, namely Amritsar, Taran Taran and Majitha. The present cases arise from police district Taran Taran which is the closest police district to Pakistan. It is further averred that on 22.7.1993 four persons were killed in an encounter with the police. The prosecution alleged that they were killed in a fake encounter. On the basis of the complaint lodged by Chaman Lal, father of one of the deceased, the CBI obtained sanction from the State Government to prosecute the accused as at the relevant time, under section 6 of the 1983 Act, sanction from Central Government was required. However, on the basis of sanction obtained from the State Government, the CBI filed chargesheet against the accused persons in the Court of Special Judge, Patiala. The appellants filed application under section 227 of the Cr.P.C. for discharge on the ground that they had acted in the incident in the course of their duty and sanction granted by the State Government was without jurisdiction, illegal and void.;
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