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Prosecution sanction against 51 officials is pending for years

THE Central Vigilance Commission ( CVC) has finally released the names of 51 corrupt government officials against whom prosecution sanctions have been kept pending for three years.

Investigating agencies such as the CBI need permission from the government departments concerned to prosecute a public servant after a probe against him is completed. This sanction, according to CVC guidelines, should come within four months of an agency requesting for it. But the CVC list of long- pending prosecution sanctions, released only now, is an eye- opener on how such officers are being shielded.

The list has the names of five IAS officers, top officers of the BSNL and ONGC, an under- secretary in the defence ministry, assistant commissioners of excise and customs, income tax and an MCD

deputy commissioner.

Prithviraj Chavan, minister of state for department of personnel and training ( DoPT), and CBI director Ashwani Kumar recently spoke about the CBI not getting prosecution sanction in time from government departments.

Ironically, 24 of the 51 pending sanction cases, according to the CVC list, are gathering dust with the DoPT -- the CBI's administrative ministry. What's more shocking is that the CBI itself has kept the sanction pending to prosecute its own corrupt deputy superintendent, P. Balachandran. The agency caught him three years ago and a chargesheet was prepared.

For the thousands duped in Delhi's Co- Operative Societies Scam in 2006, the list offers disturbing revelations. The Centre, more specifically the DoPT, has kept the sanction for prosecuting 1984- batch IAS officer Rajesh Srivastava pending in as many as many as 20 cases relating to the scam. " The oldest sanction solicited against Srivastava has been pending since June 25, 2007," a CBI officer said.

The home ministry has kept the CBI's prosecution sanction demand against Srivastava's scam co- accused Krishan Kumar, then the joint registrar, pending.

The state government has also kept the CBI's demand for sanctions pending for over a year regarding five other officers associated with the scam.

Balachandran was arrested in 2006 for conniving with the accused in the housing scam. But the CBI has kept mum on the sanction to prosecute him pending since November 26, 2008.

The oldest prosecution sanction pending is with the DoPT regarding Ravi S. Srivastava.

The CBI had registered an FIR in a corruption case against the IAS officer, posted in Jaipur, and sought sanction from the DoPT to prosecute him on November 21, 2002. But the ministry has kept the CBI's request pending for seven years. Similarly, the DoPT has not given sanction to the CBI to prosecute IAS officer Sanjiv Kumar, involved in a corruption case in Haryana.

Chavan's ministry has also withheld the prosecution sanction for IAS officers L. V. Subrahmanyam and Manoj Singh pending for over a year.

The CBI had accused Subrahmanyam of corruption in the establishment of the Volkswagen car factory in Andhra Pradesh when he was the vice- chairman and managing director of the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation.

Singh is accused of allotting land and funds for a nurses' training centre and other projects in violation of norms during his tenure as the district magistrate of Pilibhit from 1998 to 2001.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Oct 9, 2009

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