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Sanction trial of your officers: CBI court to Delhi government
September, 10th 2012

Delay in getting sanction for prosecuting a few government officials in a corruption case, which also involves the owners of a five-star hotel, has irked a special CBI court. It has asked the chief minister to instruct her officers to speedily pass orders for sanction.

Special CBI judge Swarana Kanta Sharma has also asked the ministry of law and the law secretary to ensure that the direction passed by the Supreme Court on the issue of sanction for prosecution of government officials is complied with. "Copy of this order be sent to the chief secretary, Delhi, to be brought to the notice of the CM for passing orders on sanction among the officers, and also to the ministry of law and the law secretary for consideration that the directions passed in the judgments of the apex court will be complied with at the earliest and the guidelines will be made and issued at an early date," the court said while asking the government to take the order "seriously" and follow it in its "true spirit".

The court's order came after the CBI submitted that in spite of applying for sanction to prosecute three government officials of Directorate General of Foreign Trade and Department of Transport under Prevention of Corruption Act in January this year, the sanction was still awaited. Under the Act, a sanction is required from the department concerned to prosecute its officials.

As per the case, the owners of a five-star hotel had connived with the government officials to cheat the state exchequer of lakhs of rupees while spending the money to buy three luxury cars one Porsche and two BMWs.

While no sanction is required to prosecute the hotel owners, the court said trial could not begin due to delay in getting the sanction for prosecution of the government officials. "It is appalling that though eight months have passed since sanction was applied for, the same is still awaited," the judge said.

The court noted that due to such delays, the courts were forced to release the accused on bail.

Referring to the apex court's order in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case, where the court had fixed a timeline for grant of sanction and also asked Parliament to consider the guidelines, the judge noted that no guidelines have been made by the government "till date".

"No doubt bureaucrats of this country are the backbone of administrative wing of the democracy and I am sure that if it is brought to their notice that unnecessary delays in granting sanctions shields the guilty, they will expedite passing order of sanction as they will not want to aid either corruption or corrupt," it added.

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