19. Previous sanction necessary for prosecution.
(1) No court shall take cognizance of an offence punishable under Sections 7, 10, 11, 13 and 15 alleged to have been committed by a public servant, except with the previous sanction, –
(a) In the case of a person who is employed in connection with the affairs of the Union and is not removable from his office save by or with the sanction of the Central Government, of that Government;
(b) In the case of a person who is employed in connection with the affairs of a State and is not removable from his office save by or with the sanction of the State Government, of that Government;
(c) In the case of any other person, of the authority competent to remove him from his office.
(2) Where for any reason whatsoever any doubt arises as to whether the previous sanction as required under sub-section (1) should be given by the Central Government or the State Government or any other authority, such sanction shall be given by that Government or authority which would have been competent to remove the public servant from his office at the time when the offence was alleged to have been committed.
(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973-
(a) No finding, sentence or order passed by a Special Judge shall be reversed or altered by a Court in appeal, confirmation or revision on the ground of the absence of, or any error, omission, irregularity in, the sanction required under sub-section (1), unless in the opinion of that court, a failure of justice has, in fact, been occasioned thereby;
(b) No court shall stay the proceedings under this Act on the ground of any error, omission or irregularity in the sanction granted by the authority, unless it is satisfied that such error, omission or irregularity has resulted in a failure of justice;
(c) No court shall stay the proceedings under this Act on any other ground and no court shall exercise the powers of revision in relation to any interlocutory order passed in inquiry, trial, appeal or other proceedings.
(4) In determining under sub-section (3) whether the absence of, or any error, omission or irregularity in, such sanction has occasioned or resulted in a failure of justice the Court shall have regard to the fact whether the objection could and should have been raised at any earlier stage in the proceedings.
Explanation. -For the purposes of this section, –
(a) Error includes competency of the authority to grant sanction;
(b) A sanction required for prosecution includes reference to any requirement that the prosecution shall be at the instance of a specified authority or with the sanction of a specified person or any requirement of a similar nature.
In Section 19 of Prevention Corruption Act, 1988 in sub-section (1), after
clause (c), the following clause shall be inserted, namely: –
(d) Notwithstanding anything contained in clause (c), the State Government may, where it considers necessary so to do, requires the authority referred to in clause (c), to give previous sanction within the specified in this behalf and if the said authority fails to give the previous sanction within such period, the previous sanction may be given by the State Government.
(1) For the purposes of this clause “authority” does not include any authority under the control of the Central Government.
(2) For removal of doubts it is hereby declared that the power of the State Government under this clause may be exercised also in a case where the authority referred to in clause (c) has earlier refused to give the previous sanction.