Court sets four-month deadline for sanction against army officers

New Delhi, Dec 9: A court here Monday gave a four-month deadline to the central government for granting sanction to prosecute four army officials, accused in a criminal defamation case with former chief V.K. Singh.

Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja directed Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh to approach the central government on the issue.

The court was hearing the applications filed by four army officials seeking appropriate directions or dropping of proceedings against them for want of sanction to prosecute them under section 197 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code, which stipulates that the court should not take cognisance of alleged offence without prior sanction of the government.

“In the light of the aforesaid, the applications filed by accused are allowed to the extent that the complainant (Tejinder Singh) is directed to approach the central government and obtain sanction under section 197 (2) of CrPC to prosecute the accused persons,” the court said.

The court said that if the government fails to grant or refuse the sanction within three to four months of the application filed by the complainant, he would be at liberty to approach the court and seek continuance of the present case on the premise that the sanction may be deemed to have been granted.

Tejinder Singh had moved the court seeking initiation of disciplinary legal action against Gen (retd) V.K. Singh, Army vice chief Lt Gen S.K. Singh, Director General Military Intelligence Lt Gen B.S. Thakur, Additional Director General of Public Information Major General S.L. Narasimhan and Lt Col Hitten Sawhney.

–Indo-Asian News service

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IANS