SC approached on prosecuting govt officials without sanction

New Delhi: A petition was on Friday filed in the Supreme Court proposing it give a direction to central and state governments' investigating agencies to initiate criminal proceedings against government officials if necessary sanction for their prosecution is not granted within mandatory 90 days.

The petition, filed by an advocate, said such a direction was required as there were 319 officials against whom criminal cases were not proceeding as the Centre and state governments are sitting on the request for granting sanction.

"From the past experience, it appears that the sanction has lost its relevence especially in the absence of timeframe wherein the sanction could be granted," advocate Santosh Tripathi said in his petition.

He alleged there were around 126 cases involving 319 officials who have been accused under the Prevention of Corruption Act but the proceedings against them could not be initiated due to absence of sanction from the concerned authorities.

"It is prayed that the court may issue a direction to the authorities concerned to file the chargesheet against the cases wherein the request pending for sanction for more than 90 days," he said adding "in the absence of any decision with due communication, it shall be deemed that the sanction has been accorded, chargesheet shall be filed and the trial court shall proceed to logical end."

He also referred to a recent judgement of the Allahabad High Court which held that sanction was not mandatory in corruption cases.

"Indulgence in corrupt practices deliberately, willfully and intentionally is a privae conduct and does not fall in public domain. Being of personalised nature of such corrupt practice, sanctions will not be required under the Prevention of Corruption Act," he said referring to the judgement.