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Director in the Investigations and White Collar Crimes Practice at the Noida office of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. Nikhil handles sensitive criminal matters and investigations for clients. He also conducts internal investigation for clients. He can be reached at nikhil.varshney@cyrilshroff.com.

Decoding Section 17A of the PC Act: A Substantive Safeguard or a Tool for Procedural Hindrance?

Introduction

On January 16, 2024, the Division Bench of the Supreme Court delivered a split verdict in the case of Nara Chandrababu Naidu vs. State of Andhra Pradesh and Anr.,[1] (“Chandrababu Naidu Case”) wherein the pertinent question of law was relating to the interpretation of the scope of Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (“PC Act”). The provision provides for a requirement of taking a prior approval of an appropriate authority before initiating any enquiry or inquiry or investigation into any offence alleged to have been committed by a public servant under the PC Act. Since the alleged offences in the instant case were committed prior to July 26, 2018 – the date on which Section 17A was incorporated vide the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 26 of 2018, the issues identified by the Supreme Court relate to the interpretation and ambit of the following legal questions:Continue Reading Decoding Section 17A of the PC Act: A Substantive Safeguard or a Tool for Procedural Hindrance?

No more parallel investigations on a company’s ‘misadventures’? -  Delhi High Court affirms SFIO’s exclusive jurisdiction

In the matter of Ashish Bhalla vs. State and Another[1](“Judgment”), the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi (“Court”) has recently ruled that once an investigation by the SFIO under Section 212 of the Companies Act, 2013 (“2013 Act”) has been initiated, a parallel investigation by a separate investigating agency into the affairs of the company is not permissible, considering the bar under Section 212 of the 2013 Act (“Section 212”). While the Madras High Court in the matter of Ravi Parthasarathy and Others vs. State of Another[2] had made similar observations to sub-clause (2) of Section 212, its application had not been sufficiently visible.Continue Reading No more parallel investigations on a company’s ‘misadventures’? –  Delhi High Court affirms SFIO’s exclusive jurisdiction

Unsettling the balance: analysing the Import of section 167(2) OF CRPC.

The debate around the interpretation of Section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (“CrPC”), as regards timing of police custody has reawakened since the Supreme Court in V. Senthil Balaji vs. State represented by Deputy Director & Ors.[1]; 2023 SCC Online SC 934(“Senthil Balaji Case”), sought to re-examine the position. In the course of assessing the import of Section 167(2) of CrPC, the Supreme Court has raised doubts on the otherwise settled position of law laid down in the Central Bureau of Investigation vs. Anupam J. Kulkarni[2];(1992) 3 SCC 141, later concurred by a Full Bench of the Supreme Court in Budh Singh vs. State of Punjab; (2000) 9 SCC 266. The Supreme Court has referred the matter to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for appropriate orders to form a larger bench.Continue Reading Unsettling the balance: Analysing the Import of Section 167(2) of CRPC.

Significance of Providing Un-Relied Documents to Accused An Indicator of a Fair Trial

One of the key facets of the criminal law regime is that an individual/ entity should be given a fair and transparent trial. Sections 207 and 208 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (“CrPC”) are in furtherance to the said principle, which relate to providing copies of police report and other documents to accused persons.Continue Reading Significance of Providing Un-Relied Documents to Accused: An Indicator of a Fair Trial