By NewsGram Staff Writer
Taking a strong pitch against corrupt government officials under probe by CBI, the Central Vigilance Commission has decided to amend the process of granting sanction for fast-tracking trial against government officials, thereby reducing delays in deciding on such requests.
The practice of holding a meeting with the department of the official facing the allegations, which often delays granting of sanction, will be given up.
This will be followed by dismissing appeals against the CVC’s decision to grant prosecution sanction unless fresh material is produced.
Stressing the need to expedite decision-making on requests of sanction for proposal and sticking to the time limit of three months for grant of sanction or otherwise, the CVC iterated that “competent authorities take unduly long time in deciding these matters”.
A circular issued by the CVC on April 16 stated, “The Commission, on a review of the existing mechanism has decided to dispense with the mechanism of holding joint meetings with the representatives of CBI and the department concerned and henceforth, all such matters of difference of opinion would be dealt and resolved by the Commission on the basis of available documents.”
The new circular proposes resolution of disputes over prosecution sanction between investigation agencies and departments on the basis of available documents and tentative views of the department concerned.
Further more, the circular said, “The concerned ministry/department is required to refer the case to the commission for reconsideration only in exceptional cases when new facts come to light. The commission has observed that generally no new facts come out during these meetings (joint meetings) and there are considerable delays on the part of department/organizations.”
In its order in the Vineet Narain and others Vs Union of India case, the Supreme Court had set three months as the period for grant of prosecution sanction and another month where legal opinion is required from the attorney general.
Despite the SC orders, there has been a consistent trend of delay in sanction to prosecute officials facing allegations of corruption.
According to CBI officials, most of the cases against government officials remain pending due to non-grant or delay in sanction for prosecution.
The circular has also directed the department concerned to give its views regarding the action to be taken against the official within three weeks, while dealing with cases of non-presidential appointees,
According to the latest statistics available from CBI, 17 requests for prosecution sanction are pending beyond four months. Some of the requests are pending since 2012. The requests are pending with different departments including department of personnel and training, home ministry, ministry of defence, IDBI Bank, Bank of India, State Bank of India and South Delhi Municipal Corporation.