The SC said that Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act is not unconstitutional. The provision says that no court shall take cognizance of an offence alleged to have been committed by a public servant without the previous sanction from the competent authority.
“Thus while it is not possible to hold that the requirement of sanction as unconstitutional, the competent authority has to take a decision on the issue of sanction expeditiously as already observed.
“A fine balance has to be maintained between the need to protect a public servant against mala fide prosecution on the one hand and the object of upholding probity in public life in prosecuting the public servant against whom prima facie material in support of allegation of corruption exists on the other hand,” the SC bench said.
It said there should be no tolerance to graft but at the same time there is a need to protect the honest.