SC slams Centre for "shielding" defence officials in Kargil Scam

The SC slammed the Centre for failing to initiate disciplinary action against several defence officials indicted by the CAG in December 2001 for lapses in purchases worth over Rs 2000 crore made in 1999 for Kargil operations.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday slammed
the Centre for failing to initiate disciplinary action against
several defence officials indicted by the Comptroller and
Auditor General (CAG) in December 2001 for lapses in purchases
worth over Rs 2000 crore made in 1999 for Kargil operations.

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and R M Lodha voiced
concern that a "chaotic situation" would arise in the country
if the government departments sit over the CAG reports and
refuse to accord sanction.

Though the CAG had found lapses in 35 cases, the defence
department refused to accord sanction for prosecution of the
officials claiming there was no substance in 28 of the cases.

"If the CAG has audited and found deficiencies and lapses
on the part of officers, is anything more required for
initiating disciplinary action?”

"Subordinate departments holding preliminary inquiries
and over-turning CAG reports may lead to a chaotic situation",
the Bench said.

Under sustained questioning from the apex court,
Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium assured the bench that he
would personally sit with the Defence Secretary to review the
decision taken by the department not to grant sanction and
report back to the court at the next hearing.

PTI

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