Government turned down 232 CBI requests to prosecute tainted babus

New Delhi:  Government has turned down 232 requests of the CBI seeking sanction to prosecute officials allegedly involved in corruption cases between 2009-2013, Lok Sabha was informed today.

"From 2009 to February 2013, CBI has made 3413 requests to various ministries/departments/state governments for sanction for prosecution under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Out of these, sanctions were received against 3004 requests and denied in respect of 232 requests," Minister of state for personnel, public grievances and pensions V Narayanasamy said.

Responding to a question, the Minister said Supreme Court of India vide its judgement dated December 18, 1997 in the case of Vineet Narain Vs Union of India, directed that "time limit of three months for grant of sanction for prosecution must be strictly adhered to. However, additional time of one month may be allowed where consultation is required with the Attorney General or any Law Officer in the AG's office."

He said as per information provided by the CBI out of 3004 requests, it has received sanctions in respect of 2423 requests within a period of three months and remaining 581 requests were received after three months.

"In order to check delays in grant of sanction for prosecution, the Department of Personnel and Training has already issued guidelines vide its OM No 399/33/2006-AVD-III dated November 6, 2006 followed by another OM dated December 20, 2006, providing for a definite time frame at each stage for handling of requests from CBI for prosecution of public servants," he said.

The Minister said it is sometimes not possible to adhere to this time limit.

"The delay which occurs in the sanctioning of prosecution is mostly on account of detailed scrutiny and analysis of voluminous case records and evidence, consultation with Central Vigilance Commission, state governments and other agencies and sometimes non-availability of documentary evidence," he said.

The Minister said the GoM on tackling corruption had also given certain recommendations for speedy disposal of sanction of prosecution cases which were accepted by the government.

The recommendations included "taking decisions on such cases within three months; monitoring of the cases at secretary level...and in cases of refusal to accord sanction, submission of report to the next higher authority within seven days for information (where competent authority is minister such report report is to be submitted to the Prime Minister", he said.

He said the said recommendation of the GoM has been accepted by the Government and instructions have been issued by the Government on May 3, 2012.

The Government issued yet another instruction on July 20, 2012 wherein while clarifying certain issues relating to the procedure being followed such as avoiding repeated correspondence with CBI/CVC for clarifications/reconsideration etc. all Ministries/Departments were again advised to strictly comply with the instructions contained in the OMs dated November 6, 2006 and December 20, 2012 as modified in OM dated May 3, 2012, the Minister said.

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