1. SANCTION TO PROSECUTE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS: EXTEND TIME FRAME
THE Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is set to move the Supreme Court for extending the deadline for granting or denying saction to prosecute government officials from the current four months to six-eight months.
- As the top anti-corruption watchdog, the CVC acts as the nodal agency for obtaining sanction to prosecute government employees. The attempt to extend the deadline comes after inordinate delays on the part of government departments to grant or deny sanction for prosecution. It will also act as a shield for honest public servants, against any harassment through frivolous prosecution.
- The Supreme Court, in the Vineet Narain judgment of 1997, had stated that the “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 (AG) or any other law officer in the AG’s office.”
- Under Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, sanction is necessary and no court shall take cognizance of an offence punishable under Sections 7, 10, 11, 13 and 15 of the PC Act, except with previous sanction.
2. CENTRE MOVES SC AGAINST FIXED TERM FOR POLICE CHIEFS
- The Union government has filed an interlocutory application in the Supreme Court to amend a 2006 order of the court that is being used by the States to appoint “favourites” as Directors-General of Police.
- The Home Ministry moved the court to seek clarity on the order that ensures a two-year fixed term for the DGPs.
- Some States were misusing the order and appointing officers about to retire, giving them a fixed term of two years, irrespective of the superannuation date.
- The Ministry would lay down guidelines to ensure that only those who had a minimum of one-and-a-half to two years to retire were included in the panel.
- The court issued the order for a fixed two-year term for the DGPs in the Prakash Singh judgement.