Jabalpur: The Madhya Pradesh High Court has held that the state Law department has final authority to award sanction to prosecute a government employee and his parent department`s opinion in the matter would not be binding.
The court judgement is set to put an end to the practice of the law department following recommendations of the parent department/General Administration Department in awarding prosecution sanction against corrupt government employees.
Delivering the judgement last week, the principal bench of High Court said, "the opinion of the parent department is not at all binding on the law department while considering the case for grant of sanction".
It further said that "to seek opinion from the parent department (where the employee worked) is part of the procedure...And thus not binding".
The order was passed by the bench of Justices Ajit Singh and Tarun Kumar Kaushal on a criminal revision petition filed by M P Chaturvedi, a superintendent engineer, associated with Bansagar Canal Circle, Rewa.
Chaturvedi had moved the high court against the order of the lower court which had accepted the prosecution sanction given by law department even after his parent department had not given any recommendation to sanction his prosecution.
Under Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the petitioner contended that it was the parent department that was authorised to grant prosecution sanction.
The Economic Offence Wing (EOW) had booked the engineer under various sections of the PCA and the IPC for alleged irregularities in processing of tenders.
"The order will go a long way in prosecuting corrupt government servants who managed to escape trial on the plea of not having the prosecution sanction from the government," advocate Pankaj Dubey, counsel for the EOW, said.
"The court has affirmed that the prosecution against a corrupt government servant cannot be dropped merely on the ground that there was no prosecution sanction (from his department)," he said.