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Central Bureau of Investigation, Bank Securities & Fraud Cell Vs Ramesh Gelli and Others, on 23rd February, 2016, Supreme Court of India: Case Brief & Read Judgement

Definition of ‘Public Servant’ under Section 2(c) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 covers Private Bank’s Officials.
Criminal Appeal Nos. 1077- 1081 of 2013
Bench: Justice Prafulla C. Pant; Justice Ranjan Gogoi

Brief: The present case is in connection with the criminal appeals and writ petition where, the issue was brought before the court as to whether officials of the Private Bank can be covered under the meaning of the ‘Public servant’ as defined under the provisions of Prevention of Corruptions Act, 1988 and whether the respondent- being private bank’s official are public servants for the purpose of said Act, were brought for consideration. Actually, the Central Bureau of Investigation- CBI has filed this appeal with the claim of maintaining their filed prosecution against the respondents- officials of the Private Bank. Answering this issue, honourable bench has considered the definition, especially, the sub- clause (viii) of the Section 2(c) of the said Act, where the ‘public servant’ means ‘any person who holds an office by virtue of which he is authorized or required to perform any public duty’. Here, the expression, ‘office’ and ‘public duty’ are found mentioned and in the same, the ‘Public duty’ as defined by Section 2(b) of the said Act, which wide to cover the discharging of the duty for state, public or community at large has an interest. Moreover, the court also considered several rulings for understanding the effect of the expressions ‘office’ and ‘public duty’ comes under the definition of the ‘public servant’ under that Act. Moreover, the fact remained undisputed that earlier to the enactment of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the Section 46A of the Banking Regulation Act was having effect and it was considering the officials of the Banking Company as Public Servants for the purpose of Indian Penal Code. Thus, the said Prevention of Corruptions Act would not have also been enacted with the intent to have opposite effect. Thus, the Bench have decided that the said officials of the private bank are Public Servants for the purpose of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, by virtue of the provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. Thus, the Court has allowed the appeal filed by CBI and dismissed the writ petition filed by respondents- in the appeal.

Read the Judgement here