Section 197 of Cr.PC gives public servants an assurance for protection in the eventuality of a genuine, bona fide mistake or miscarriage of law during the course of performance of official duties. This protection, is to save the public servants from vexatious and malicious cases brought against them. This section invests the competent authority of the public servant with the power to grant permission for prosecuting a public servant. No court can take cognizance of a criminal case in which a public servant is an accused, without the permission of the competent authority. The competent authority is expected to examine the case in detail before granting permission for prosecution. This paper attempts to broach the various circumstances and constraints in which Section 197 is invoked.
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