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High-ranking officials go unpunished as Maharashtra government sits on files for years: RTI

Thursday, 3 April 2014 - 8:20am IST | Agency: dna

The state government has been delaying sanction to prosecute its high-ranking officials, with some cases pending up to seven years, according to information obtained under the Right to Information Act.

Shailesh Gandhi, former central information commissioner, had filed an RTI application with state's home department seeking details of the approval sanctions pending with them for government officials. This was for those who are over the rank of assistant commissioner of police.

In its reply, the department has listed names of three officers on whom charges were slapped and prosecution is pending from over four months to seven years. "The state government in fact is violating Supreme Court order and the rules framed by the state government on such issues," said Gandhi.

He added, as per a 1988 SC order, states are supposed to give prosecution against officers within three months. Additional time of one month is permitted if the state government wants to seek legal opinion from the attorney general or any other law officer.

In a case where a retired IPS officer who was charged for allowing a foreign national to live in India, the state government has not sanctioned prosecution since November 2006, which is when it was sought. The reason for delay given is of a court case whose date is not mentioned.

The other two pertain to a retired assistant commissioner of police and a serving additional commissioner of police. While the ACP's prosecution is pending since November 2013, the reason for delay is some case that was already decided in 2012. "There are some reasons given that just do not seem to relate to the issue," said Gandhi.

With respect to the additional commissioner's case that is pending sanction since June 2013, the home department states that the higher up officials are still looking into some details. "This is nothing but an excuse," said Gandhi.

When dna tried calling Home Minister R R Patil, who heads the deaprtment, his phone was switched off.

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