New Delhi: The Centre`s approval is not needed to prosecute senior bureaucrats in court-monitored corruption cases, the Supreme Court on Tuesday held.
A three-judge bench, headed by Justice R M Lodha, cleared the deck for the agency to prosecute bureaucrats allegedly involved in Coalgate scam without waiting for the sanction as the issue of approval was coming in its way till date to investigate and prosecute the bureaucrats at the level of Joint Secretary and above in the absence of nod from the Centre.
Without deciding on the constitutional validity of Section 6A of Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE), making it mandatory for CBI to obtain sanction to conduct an inquiry against senior bureacrats, the bench said the provision is not necessary in court-monitored cases.
While Justice Lodha gave the findings on his and Justice Kurien Joseph`s behalf, Justice Madan B Lokur concurred with them but gave a different reasoning for arriving at the same conclusion.
"We hold that the approval of the central government is not necessary under Section 6A of the DSPE Act in a matter where inquiry/investigation into the crime under the Prevention of Corruption Act is being monitored by this Court. This position holds good in cases which are directed by the Court to be registered and the inquiry/investigation thereon is actually being monitored by this Court," Justice Lodha said.
The bench passed the order in one of the applications filed in coal blocks allocation scam seeking its direction to do away with the provisions of prior sanction of the Centre in cases monitored by court.