Who is a Public Servant?


Section 21 of the Indian Penal Code tells about the public servants. It explains that it is not important that the public servant will be appointed by the Government but the Public servant must be in charge of public duty and the government must have delegated the power to him with certain responsibilities too. Basically in order to determine whether a person is a public servant or not? We are required to determine a Test i.e Whether he is in government service or paid by the government for his work?


And another question is whether the government has delegated the authority and responsibility to him and he is also entrusted with the performance of any public duty. Section 21(3) of I.P.C states that the judges of all the courts are Public Servants including the Judges of the Supreme Court. In Lankaran v. King Emperor (1946) The court held that an officer whose duty is to give information about the commission of an offense e.g mukaddam is also a public servant.


Under Section 21(9) of I.P.C, A Minister of State, the Chief Minister of a State, Speaker of State Legislative Assembly is also a Public Servant and they can be prosecuted under Prevention of Corruption Act(1988) as held in case - Naliammal v. State (1999) Employees of Nationalised Bank, Railway Servants, Engineers of Electricity Department, Government Counsel, Employees of Government Companies are also Public Servant within the scope of Section 21 of I.P.C. Therefore, It can be concluded that every person whom the Government has delegated power and responsibility and is liable for the act as well as have some duty towards the Public they are Public Servant.





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