15. Misuse of authority : Whether every erroneous order or mistake of law would tantamount to misuse of authority within mischief of Section 9(iv) of NAB Ordinance, 1999 – Misuse of authority means use of authority or power in a manner contrary to law or reflects an unreasonable departure from known precedents or custom – Every misuse of authority is not culpable – To establish charge of misuse of authority, prosecution has to establish two essential ingredients of alleged crime i.e. ‘mens rea’ and ‘actus reus’ – If either of these is missing, no offence is made out – Mens rea or guilty mind, in context of misuse of authority, would require that accused had knowledge that he had no authority to act in manner he acted or that it was against law or practice in vogue but despite that he issued instruction or passed order – In instant case documentary evidence led by prosecution and its own witnesses admit that appellant was told that he had authority to relax rules and competent authority could make appointments thereafter – Guilty intent or mens rea is missing – Even actus reus is doubtful because he had not made appointments – He merely approved the proposal and sent matter to competent authority – At the worst he could be accused of mistake of civil law i.e. ignorance of rules – But a mistake of civil law negates mens rea – There is substance in argument of learned counsel for appellant that every mistake of civil law would not constitute offence because mens rea is an essential ingredient of a crime unless of course it is an offence of strict liability.
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