Now, private citizens can seek sanction to prosecute IAS officers [Polity]
- The Centre has agreed to permit private persons seek sanction for prosecution of State and central IAS officers under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
- Under the existing rules, requests for sanction for prosecution of All India Services Officers (IAS/IPS/IFS etc) can be initiated by the investigative agencies only. A decision to grant or deny the permission can be made only by a “competent authority” designated by the Centre.
- Govt had decided to entertain proposals/requests from private persons for sanction of public servants in compliance of a Supreme Court verdict of 2012 and intimated the procedures to be followed.
- The Supreme Court in its judgment in Dr. Subramanian Swamy versus Dr. Manmohan Singh and another observed that “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.”
- The apex court further observed that if the Competent Authority is satisfied that the material placed before it is sufficient for prosecution of the public servant, then it is required to grant sanction or refuse sanction if the evidence is not sufficient. In either case, the decision taken on the complaint made by a citizen is required to be communicated to him and if he feels aggrieved by such decision, then he can avail legal remedy.