Deputy CM of Delhi Manish Sisodia (File)
– Photo: video grab
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday accused the lieutenant governor and chief secretary of making decisions that bypassed Delhi’s elected government. He said granting sanctions for unlawful prosecution could exonerate many accused of serious crimes against the state. In this regard, he also reprimanded the officials. The First Secretary has been instructed to present a list of all such cases by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, for which no approval has been taken from him.
Sisodia has asked the Chief Secretary to present a list of all cases of prosecution sanctions against the rules issued in six months as this has created a legal crisis. Section 196 of the IPC says that in case of offenses committed against the state, no court shall hear such case except with the approval or sanction of the state government. Many heinous crimes fall into this category. According to the legal department of the Delhi government, the state government in this law means the elected government. This means that the responsible minister is the competent authority and that permission from the minister is required in all these cases.
After approval by the minister, the file goes to the lieutenant governor to decide whether he disagrees with the minister’s decision or wants to forward it to the president. The same process was followed until a few months ago, but since a few months, the first secretary has started sending all these files directly to the lieutenant governor, bypassing the minister. The Lieutenant Governor also gave permission in all these cases, although he is not authorized to do so. Therefore, the sentence awarded for prosecution in all such criminal cases becomes null and void in a few months and the accused can be acquitted when they bring the case to court.
Section 196 of CrPC
Sisodia said that in the case of certain violations under Section 196(1) of the CrPC, legal sanction for prosecution by the state government is an essential condition. It includes crimes such as hate speech, hurting religious feelings, heinous crimes, sedition, rebellion against the state, promoting enmity. According to the orders of the Supreme Court, the elected government will exercise executive powers to impose legal sanctions for prosecution under Article 196(1) of CrPC and the LG will be bound by the assistance and advice of the Council of Ministers. There is no power to give unilateral approval other than the assistance and advice of the Council of Ministers.