The wait to prosecute government officials for their involvement in corruption continues. For four months, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has not been able to get the nod from various government departments to prosecute 38 officials. This despite instructions from the Supreme Court to government agencies to give their nod or deny sanction for prosecution within three months.
The ministry of personnel public grievances & pensions and department of personnel and training (DoPT) has not decided on 19 cases for over seven months. Of these, five are against IAS officers. In fact, the DoPT is guilty of delaying the maximum number of cases. Of the seven officers, four — Y Sreelakshmi, BP Acharya, LV Subramanyam, G. Venkatarami Reddy — are IAS officers of Andhra Pradesh cadre. The others, Abrahum Varickamakkal, Selvaraj PB from Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territories cadre and Manoj Kumar Agarwal of the West Bengal cadre.l Turn to p7
The health ministry has yet to decide on three cases involving 11 officials, including professors, advisors, engineers and scientists. It has been sitting on these cases for eight months now.
While the case of Lav Kumar Saxena, an IRS officer from Delhi, has been pending for more than 14 months with the department of revenue, Mumbai-based IRS officer Ramphool P Meena’s matter is pending for over six months. He faces serious bribery charges.
The defence ministry has yet to decide on cases involving two officers - Major Anindya Roy and Major Gagan Rekhi. Similarly, the case of MP Dixit, South Eastern Coalfields Limited’s chairperson and managing director, has been pending for 12 months.
“There is a deliberate attempt to cover up these cases and that is the reason for the delay in giving sanctions,” said Ashutosh Kr Mishra, director, Integrity Pact cell, Transparency International India. He pointed out that unlike these examples, there were several cases of whistleblowers being falsely implicated. The sanction for their prosecution was given within days, he said.
In the case of Vineet Narain & Ors versus the Union of India, the Supreme Court in 1997 said the time limit of three months must be strictly adhered to in deciding whether to grant sanction for prosecution. An additional period of one month is allowed if the agency needs to consult the attorney general or any other law officer.
Investigating agencies, including the CBI, on receiving a complaint against a government official, sends its probe report to the CVC for advice. The CVC then seeks sanction for prosecution from the organisation or department with which the official works.