1. Leave granted.
2. The appellant is being prosecuted under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (for short “the Act”). The High Court refused to entertain the plea of lack of sanction for prosecution by the Competent Authority on the ground that it would tantamount to review of the earlier order and the Court does not possess the power to review the earlier order.
2. Under Section 19 of the Act no Court can take cognizance of an offence punishable under Sections 7, 10, 11, 13 and 15 alleged to have been committed by a public servant, except with the previous sanction of the Authority competent to remove the person concerned. In the case in hand, the Secretary (Vigilance) appears to have accorded sanction to prosecute. The appellant’s case is that the Secretary (Vigilance) was authorised to grant sanction only on 23.4.1994 and there is no order of the State Government making the Secretary (Vigilance) competent to accord sanction prior to the said date. The learned counsel appearing for the State is not in a position to refute the aforesaid contention and, in fact, is not able to produce any document which confers power on the Secretary (Vigilance) to accord sanction prior to 23.4.1994. The sanction in the present case being prior to the aforesaid date, the date on which the sanction appears to have been given, the concerned Authority had no jurisdiction and, therefore, there is an embargo on the court’s power to take cognizance for non-compliance of Section 19 of the Act. We accordingly quash the proceeding.
3. The appeals stand disposed of accordingly.