The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a petition moved by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy that there should be a time frame for sanctioning prosecution of a public servant by the government.
A two-member bench comprising Justices G.S. Singhvi and A.K. Ganguly ruled that the government could take a maximum of four months to sanction prosecution, failing which the sanction would be taken as deemed to be given.
The apex court also suggested that the government include these recommendations in the Prevention of Corruption Act. Right to file a complaint against corruption by a public servant was a fundamental right, it said.
Swamy had moved the Supreme Court in 2010. He had argued that he had written to the PMO on November 29, 2008 requesting sanction to prosecute then telecom minister A. Raja, but it was only on March 19, 2010 that the PMO replied rejecting his plea.
The government had replied that Swamy’s request was “premature” as investigation was being carried out by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Swamy then moved the Delhi High Court, which rejected his petition.
Arguing for the prime minister, attorney general Ghulam Vahanvati said Swamy should have first approached a competent court before writing to Singh. He also submitted that the question of sanction arises only at the time of filing of charge-sheet after investigation.