SC commences hearing on retrospective application of immunity granted against arrest, Legal News, ET LegalWorld – Legal Firms

The Supreme Court Tuesday commenced hearing on whether striking down a provision granting immunity from arrest would have a retrospective effect in view of rights protected under Article 20 of the Constitution. Article 20 of the Constitution provides for protection in respect of conviction for offences.

A five-judge constitution bench comprising Justice S K Kaul, Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Justice A S Oka, Justice Vikram Nath and Justice J K Maheshwari heard submissions made by parties who contended that it should not apply retrospectively.

“Heard Dr R R Kishore, in person, for one hour and five minutes, Mr Arvind Datar, senior counsel for two-and-a-half hours and Mr Amit Desai, senior counsel for seven minutes. List as part-heard on November 2, 2022,” the bench said.

Dr R R Kishore, who was the Chief District Medical Officer, Government of NCT of Delhi, was accused of demanding a bribe. The CBI had arrested him while accepting the bribe.

However, Dr Kishore challenged the arrests on the grounds that the arrest was meticulously pre-planned, and did not enjoy the exception under Section 6A(2) of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946.

Section 6A(2) states that prior approval is not required if an arrest is made on the spot while accepting or attempting to receive a bribe.

The Delhi High Court said the CBI had started investigation before the arrest, and therefore did not fall under the Section 6A(2) exception.

However, this does not mean that Dr Kishore would be discharged and the CBI was directed to seek the Union government’s approval and begin reinvestigation.

On January 3, 2007, the CBI filed an appeal before the top court.

In 2016, the apex court referred the case to a five-judge bench to decide if the removal of immunity to Central Government employees at the joint secretary level would apply retrospectively.

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