`Shield needed to prevent frivolous complaints against public servants`

Last Updated: Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 19:54

New Delhi: With Supreme Court observing that the provision of sanction for prosecution was impeding the anti-corruption law, a senior Congress MP and chairman of a Parliamentary committee on Thursday said such a shield was required to prevent frivolous complaints against public servants.

He also said while the apex court was free to interpret laws, Parliament had the power to legislate.

"The sanction to prosecute is required to prevent frivolous complaints against public servants," Shantaram Naik told reporters when asked about the SC observations.

He was asked to respond to the apex court`s view as a report submitted by his committee on Law and Personnel on Prevention of Corruption Act (Amendment) Bill, 2013 supports the government`s view to extend the provision of prosecution sanction to retired bureaucrats.

The SC had yesterday said that the provision of prosecution sanction was impeding the anti-corruption law and asked the Centre why it was protecting the top bureaucracy by having it on the statute.

"The Supreme Court can interpret, but the substantial power to legislate is with Parliament. The court is free to interpret, we are free to legislate," he said.

According to the bill, an investigating agency may have to seek prior permission from the government before questioning a retired bureaucrat in a corruption case.

"The Committee is in agreement with the provision of the bill extending the protection to the honest public servant who ceased to be government servant for the bonafide omission/ commission during their term in office," says the report.

PTI

First Published: Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 19:54

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