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Final decision on sanction of probes back with DoPT

May 16, 2019 06:12 AM


Neeraj Chauhan ■
Final decision on sanction of probes back with DoPT
NEWDELHI: The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), which reports to the Prime Minister, will now be the final authority in case any central government department, ministry or the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) refuses to allow the prosecution of government servants by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), according to a government order.

The order means that the PM will be the ultimate authority in case of a conflict or delay over a sanction for prosecution. Experts say this could improve CBI’s chances of being allowed to investigate and prosecute corrupt public servants, although political opponents fear that it could be used to settle political scores.

HT has seen a copy of the March order which restores DoPT’s ultimate authority when it comes to sanctions -- after a gap of 33 years. For instance, in at least two cases, Uttar Pradesh in 2007 and Maharashtra in 2013, the then governors refused to allow

the sitting chief ministers to be prosecuted by CBI. The Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) Mayawati was the CM of UP then, and the Congress’s Ashok Chavan the CM of Maharashtra. The Congress-led UPA was in power at the Centre in both cases.

According to the guidelines and the Supreme Court’s judgement in the Vineet Narain case in 1997, government departments are supposed to accord sanction for prosecution within the three months of CBI’s request

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