The Calcutta High Court has observed that if any sanction has been granted for prosecution on the same facts, the court has the power to add or alter the charge in respect of a specific offence, despite no specific sanction being there in respect of the offence for which charge is contemplated to be added/ altered.
Justice Siddhartha Chattopadhya was dealing with a question that if any court wants to add or alter the charge in respect of a specific offence for which no sanction was granted, but sanction was granted in respect of other offences on the same facts, whether Section 197(4) of CrPC shall overlap Section 216(5) of CrPC.
The court held that, at the time of dealing with the Section 216(5) of CrPC, the court is to see if any sanction has been given on same facts or not, irrespective of any offence.
“If one considers both the sections in its proper perspectives, then the logical conclusion would be that fresh sanction under Section 306 of IPC is not required at the time of addition and alteration of charge under Section 216(5) of CrPC, if situation so warrants, because sanction has been already obtained for a prosecution on the same facts. Since Section 216(5) of CrPC comes into play during trial so Section 197(4) of CrPC has no manner of application after the trial commences,” the court observed.
The crime under investigation pertains to the death of a Muslim boy who married a Hindu girl whose parents were against the marriage. With regard to this, the court observed: “Even nearly after 70 years of our Independence, a few narrow-minded people have some superstitious beliefs. In spite of significant developments in modern science and technology, we find a few conservative people still believe that marriage must be within the same religion and of same financial status. Such baseless and unfounded attitude sometimes may lead to family disasters.”
The court also observed that the cumulative effect of mental pressure put by the accused associated with criminal intimidation and the factors which leads person to commit suicide are taken together then it prima facie comes within the purview of ‘abetment’.
“He could not fight with his parents- in-law, who are moneyed men. Police did not give him any assistance rather they were hostile. Local MLA also turned hostile. Therefore, he had faced hindrances from four Ps i.e. ‘Power of money’ (of Todi’s) ‘Police’, ‘Politician’, and ‘Poverty’, (his own). He had no ventilator in his life, from where he could get oxygen to breathe. These are the surrounding circumstances as appeared from the investigation. Therefore, it appears prima facie that creation of such situation is the cause of suicide. Such acts as described above are prima facie the glaring examples of instigation and incitement,” the bench observed.