Public Servant within the meaning of section 197 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973
The purpose of section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code is to protect officers from harassment when they commit an offence while performing official duties.
Under this clause, the police cannot be charged with committing an offence while performing their duty. It is critical to enact such legislation in the defence of cops so that they are safeguarded from unwarranted harassment.
If someone files a petition against an officer who is acting inappropriately, the court must investigate all of the circumstances. Such as whether or not the excess was related to the case. If the excess is connected to the case and the officer was just acting in the course of his duty. The court has no authority to charge him without the approval of the appropriate authorities.
In a case a police officer was accused of doing police excess in a private complaint, and cognizance was taken under several sections of the IPC. The police officer requests that the case be dismissed because the competent authorities have not issued a sanction.
However, the High Court rejected the plea, stating that the court must evaluate the complainant's and witness' statements before closing the case. The judge further stated that the court's role is to serve justice rather than to protect any defendant.
The police officer appealed the High Court's decision to the Supreme Court, claiming that enabling proceedings in the absence of sanction violates section 197 Cr.P.C.
The respondent was accused of harassing and assaulting the appellant in order to obtain information in the death case. The respondent was even required to remain in police detention. As a result, the respondent lodges a complaint against the officer for failing to perform his official duties.
The excess is not thought to be a sufficient cause to invoke section 197 Cr.P.C. and invalidate the officer's protection if the government servant engaged excessively in his duties that has any connection with the case and he or she did not do so to mask an unacceptable act.
In the above case, the court found that the officer was accused of excessive force while investigating a criminal case. The steps performed by the police were related to the case, and the officer was merely doing his job. As a result, the magistrate could not take any action against the officer without the state government’s sanctions.