Criminal Trident Pack: IPC, CrPC and IEA by Sr. Adv. G.S Shukla and Adv. Raghav Arora
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Prakash Yedhula (Lawyer)     02 February 2009

Immunity granted to district collectors from prosecution

The Supreme Court has held that a district collector is not a judge and as such cannot seek immunity from prosecution in criminal cases. A bench of Justices R V Raveendran and J M Panchal ruled that the immunity granted to judges under Section 77 IPC would not be available to district collectors or the land acquisition officers who acquire private lands and award compensation. Your views on the judgment here.


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Hemant Agarwal (ha21@rediffmail.com Mumbai : 9820174108)     02 February 2009

Dear All,

The following appeared in  "Times of India", Mumbai Edition on February 02,2009, page no. 15.

May be useful for future references.


Keep Smiling ... HemantAgarwal

 


No judicial immunity for collectors


New Delhi: The Supreme Court has held that a district collector is not a judge and as such cannot seek immunity from prosecution in criminal cases. 

   A bench ruled that the immunity granted to judges under Section 77 of the IPC would not be available to district collectors or the land acquisition officers who acquire private lands and award compensation. “The collector is neither a judge as defined under Section 19 nor does he act judicially, when discharging any of the functions under the Land Acquisition Act. He is not entitled to protection under Section 77 of the IPC,’’ the SC observed.

   The SC passed the ruling while setting aside a Rajasthan HC order which had quashed the FIR registered against the Jaipur district collector in a land acquisition case. The FIR alleges that the collector while acquiring certain private lands had grabbed lands belonging to the Rajasthan Housing Board in collusion with some having vested interest. The local police had registered a case of cheating and fraud against the district collector but the HC quashed the FIR on grounds that the official had acted in his official capacity as a ‘judge’ and as such was entitled to the immunity granted under Section 77 of the IPC. Aggrieved, the land holders Surendra Kumar Bhatia and others filed a special leave petition in the SC.

 


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