Flag of India

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court has ruled that those who complain of corruption or bribery in the government are “victims” under the law. Therefore they can file an appeal challenging the acquittal of an accused bureaucrat. The court was hearing a petition filed by 38-year-old B U Batteli, who sought to challenge the acquittal of two government officers in a corruption case that he had lodged against them.

Earlier, under the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), only the prosecution agency could give the approval to file an appeal in any criminal case. Amendments introduced by the Union government in 2009 allowed “victims” to file an appeal without the approval of the police.

Advocates for the accused government officers in the present case argued that a complainant in a case under the special anti-corruption law could not be considered as a “victim” as he or she did not suffer any loss or injury. The judges said that the loss or injury caused in such a case cannot be equated with a physical injury, or wrongful loss of property or valuable security. The judges added that the injury in this case was caused by the failure of the public servant to discharge his statutory duty.