Section 218 of BNSS – Prosecution of Civil Servants

Section 218 of Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita deals with the Prosecution of public civil servants. Under this section, the Central or State Government is required to decide on the sanction for prosecuting the public servant within 120 days. If the central or state government fails to do so, then according to section 218 prosecution of the public servant is sanctioned by the Government


Overview of Section 218 BNSS

  • This section won’t apply for prosecution under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2013
  • This section won’t apply for prosecution under these sections of Bharatiya Nyaya
    Sanhita, 2023 (BNS)
    • BNSS Sections 64, 65, 66, 68, 69, 70, 71, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 143, 199, 200
  • Prosection of any member of the armed forces requires Central Government approval provided that the offense alleged to have been committed by him while acting or purporting to act in the discharge of his official duty.
  • The sanction should be obtained from the Central Government for any offense committed by Armed forces to maintain public order (while discharging official duty) when Article 356 of the Constitution is enforced in the state.

Section 218 of BNSS applies to

  • Anyone who is employed by the Central or State Government when they have committed the said offense
  • This includes Judges, Magistrates, MPs, and MLAs as they are also public servants
  • This section applies only to offenses committed by them when discharging their official duty
  • Members of the Armed forces when maintaining public order during imposition of Article 356 or any emergencies


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