SHOULD a private person’s request for sanction of prosecution of an IAS officer in a corruption case be entertained? If yes, how? The Centre has decided to solicit public opinions and comments from all stakeholders including state governments, ministries or departments till August 12 before taking a call on this contentious issue. Till now, only investigative agencies ask for such sanction. But the DoPT in an office memorandum acknowledges that it has been receiving requests from private persons seeking sanction for prosecution, but without any proper proposal and supporting documents. So, the DoPT has come forward with a…six-point procedure for handling requests for prosecution sanction received from the private persons on the same line as as those received from investigating agencies. If you have a view on this, you are welcome to send your views to e-mail address sg.mulchandaney at nic dot in. Here are the proposed procedures:
a) A proposal from a private individual seeking sanction for prosecution of an IAS officer serving in the state government may be routed through the concerned state government as such state government is best placed to provide basic inputs as regards the alleged misconduct of the public servant concerned.
b) A proposal, received directly by DoPT from private individuals, will be forwarded to the state governments for the preliminary examination of all relevant records of the officers.
c) If there is a prima facie case against an IAS officer, the state government should prepare a detailed report and consider obtaining version of the officer concerned. Such report along with all relevant records and evidence should be forwarded to DoPT with the approval of the competent authority in the state government.
d) In case the state government after examination of relevant records and other evidence is of the view that prima facie no case is made out of any alleged misconduct which may constitute an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, that state government shall inform the person who has made a request for sanction for prosecution under the said act and endorse a copy of the same to this department.
e) If a report, along with all relevant records and evidence with the approval of the authority concerned is received, wherein a prima facie case is made out, the same will be treated as a proposal as per existing procedures or guideline issued vide letter no.142/4/2012-AVD.I dated 28.07.2014 and 20.05.2016 to initiate action for processing the matter for decision of the competent authority.
f) A period of three months for disposing of such proposals would commence from the date of receipt of complete proposal with all relevant material and the aforesaid report from the state governments.
The new rules are being framed to streamline the procedures arising as consequences of a 2012 Supreme Court judgement when the Court said: "There is no provision either in the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 Act or the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr.PC) which bars a citizen from filing a complaint for prosecution of a public servant who is alleged to have committed an offence".