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Updated: March 2, 2012 01:55 IST

Sanction for prosecution only after cognisance: Centre

J. Venkatesan
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The Centre sought review of the Supreme Court’s verdict which blamed the Prime Minister’s office for sitting on the plea for granting sanction to prosecute former telecom minister A Raja in the 2G scam.
The Centre sought review of the Supreme Court’s verdict which blamed the Prime Minister’s office for sitting on the plea for granting sanction to prosecute former telecom minister A Raja in the 2G scam.

Contending that the question of sanction for prosecution of a public servant for corruption would arise only at the stage of cognisance by the competent court after the filing of a complaint, the Centre on Thursday sought a direction in the Supreme Court to review its judgment that any private complainant could seek sanction for prosecution.

The court had fixed an outer time limit of four months for deciding the issue of sanction for prosecution of corrupt public servants, including one month for the Attorney-General to give his opinion to the government in certain cases.

Private complaint

In its petition, the Centre sought review of the January 31 judgment on the petition filed by the Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy, holding the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) responsible for sitting over his private complaint to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking sanction to prosecute the former Telecom Minister, A. Raja, in the 2G scam.

The Centre said it was not challenging the findings in the judgment on locus standi but was seeking review for the limited extent of correcting certain errors apparent in the verdict as remarks were also made against the officers of the PMO who were not party to the litigation. These included “the observations made by this court regarding certain unnamed officers of the PMO without their being parties to the litigation.” The Centre faulted Justice Ganguly [since retired] for his observations in his separate judgment saying “it is legally untenable.”

In the absence of a time limit in Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), the provision would violate Article 14, the Centre said. “The conclusions in this regard that the question of sanction can arise at a stage anterior to the stage of cognisance and even before the filing of the complaint are in the respectful submission of the petitioner legally untenable.” The Centre said “the interpretation of Section 19 of the PCA in the judgment needs correction.”

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The principle of judicial activism is here applied by the supreme court of India and i would appreciate here the role played by the highest court of the country. It is worthwhile to mention here that the government has not done anything to cancel the licenses which are later cancelled by the apex court and directed the government to auction them withing 4 months. I sternly stand by the decision of the Supreme Court

from:  Davinder Singh Channa
Posted on: Mar 3, 2012 at 17:59 IST

Review petition means Govt is indirectly saying that Supreme Court of India is not competent in giving verdicts! It also means that Govt want the judgement to be diluted so that it becomes harder to prosecute corrupt people in power.

from:  Pankaj
Posted on: Mar 2, 2012 at 10:49 IST

Keeping a Minister in custody for more than a time that should one in custody is wrong. If there is no room for giving judgement whether one is right or wrong, one should be released and the court case must go on as long as the judges need to have time to give final judgement. Ministers wont to come to one conclusion without consulting the officers concerned in the ministry. So, it is a decision decided by the people not an individual; so Raja should not be imprisoned.

from:  Katary.H.G.
Posted on: Mar 2, 2012 at 10:20 IST

How can the Centre question the sanctity of the Supreme Court and
ask for review of its judgement. What is going on in this country?
In one case, that is the 2G scam, the Centre asks for a review of
the Supreme Court verdict. And in another case, the case of Indian
Fishermen killed by Italian Military Personnel on board an Italian
merchant vessel, the Centre is swearing by the courts! What is this
changing colour technique of the Government. Doesn't the Government
think that the sanction to prosecute former minister, or any
government servant in that matter, who is proven culpable of
corruption or criminality has to be inevitable. If the Congress
doesn't start cleaning its own mess then who will? How can they
point fingers at BJP in corruption cases pending in Lokayuktas in
other states? I think not sanctioning the prosecution of corrupt
officials, and those who have criminal cases pending against them,
is a direct negligence of the constitution of India and the
fundamental rights.

from:  Bobby
Posted on: Mar 1, 2012 at 22:54 IST

In a Western democracy, when there are frauds and scam like the 2G Scandal is exposed, the leader of the party and the PM quits or resigns. In India these people have thick skin and continue to stay. Indians are not stupid considering the size of the scam, that these leaders were not known about it.

from:  Shiva
Posted on: Mar 1, 2012 at 21:58 IST
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