A division bench of High Court comprising Chief justices A M Khanwilkar and Rohit Arya quashed the FIR against 88-year-old Yadav.

The bench observed, "While dealing with the primary question of extent of immunity and privilege extended to the Head of a State, during his term of office, which answers the jurisdictional fact, we proceed to quash the impugned FIR against the petitioner (Governor) on that count alone, with liberty to police to proceed in accordance with law, after the petitioner ceases to be the Governor."

For, the immunity and privilege was only during the term of office. At the same time the immunity and privilege had extended to the Governor would not impair or whittle down the powers of the police to investigate the criminal case registered against other accused who cannot claim such privilege and in the process, record statement of the petitioner, if required, the judges further observed.

"We say so because the immunity in Article 361 (2) or 361 (3) does not extend to recording of statement of the Head of a State by the police in connection with investigation of a crime, if it is so essential. The police, however, must take all salutary precautions and observe circumspection while recording statement of the petitioner in the course of investigation, so that the majesty of the office of the Governor of the State is not undermined in any manner," the division bench ruled.

Earlier on April 18, the High Court had in an interim order stayed the FIR filed on February 24 against the Governor by the Special Task Force (STF) in connection with the recruitment scam, asking the prosecuting agency not to take any "coercive action" against him.

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