Sanction has to be first considered by Council of Ministers: Jaitley

The BJP Saturday rubbished contentions of Home Minister P Chidambaram and Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde on Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa`s prosecution.

New Delhi: The BJP Saturday rubbished contentions
of Home Minister P Chidambaram and Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh
Hegde on Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa`s prosecution, saying
that as per legal precedents the Governor should have waited
for the ongoing investigations to be completed.

"What the Home Minister has ignored is the explicit
observation of Supreme Court that even though the Governor can
act independent of the decision of the Council of Ministers
and act in his own discretion, yet the issue of sanction has
first to be considered by the Council of Ministers," Leader of
Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said.

He alleged that the statements of Justice Hegde and P
Chidambaram give the impression that Governor H R Bhardwaj
acted in a constitutionally correct manner by granting
sanction to prosecute Yeddyurappa.

Enumerating on the "lacunae" in Bhardwaj`s decision,
Jaitley said, "The complaint of the two advocates was not sent
to the Council of Ministers. It`s views were not taken. The
requirement of the complaint for grant of sanction being first
considered by the Council of Ministers is not satisfied."

He maintained that there is no decision of the Council of
Ministers which could be considered as "irrational or biased".

"The Governor by acting on his own, without waiting for
the advice of the Council of Ministers, besides having acted
unconstitutionally, has challenged the basis of democratic
functioning where a primacy/role is given to the Council of
Ministers," Jaitley said.

He insisted that in this case the consideration of the
matter by the Council and its advice being placed before the
Governor was necessary but the procedure was not followed.

The eminent lawyer cited a Supreme Court order which
says the Council of Ministers has to first consider grant of
sanction to prosecute.

"We also presume that a high authority like the Council
of Ministers will normally act in a bona fide manner, fairly,
honestly and in accordance with law," Jaitley said, quoting
the Supreme Court.

The apex court further observed that in case the decision
of the Council is found to be "irrational and based on
non-consideration of relevant factors, the Governor would be
right, on the facts of that case, to act in his own discretion
and grant sanction".

PTI

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