New Delhi: Offices of the Lok Sabha Speaker, Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) are among those that are allegedly sitting on the files sent by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) seeking permission to prosecute alleged corrupt officers and elected representatives.
In some cases, the files have been lying with the DoPT for the last seven years. As per Supreme Court guidelines and subsequent circulars (08/05/15) issued by the CVC, the decision on requests for prosecution has to be decided within three months.
However, as per the CVC’s latest data, as on 30 November 2019, 58 requests for prosecution against different officers working in 27 different organisations were pending for more than four months.
The maximum of nine requests were with the DoPT, while six were with the Uttar Pradesh government involving 20 officers.
In one case, the request for sanction to prosecute the then Secretary of Health, B.L. Agarwal, a 1988 batch IAS officer of Chhattisgarh cadre, was made to the DoPT in February 2013. However, the same has still not been given. He is facing charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Another file that is lying with the MHRD since October 2018 relates to former Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, Naseem Ahmad, in connection with alleged irregularities in the appointment of an assistant finance officer in AMU in 2005. Ahmad, a retired 1972-batch IAS officer, headed the institution between 2002 and 2007. The agency filed a case against him in January 2018.
The CBI had also approached the office of the Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on 6 April 2019, seeking sanction to prosecute Trinamool Congress MPs in the Narada sting operation case.
The agency had sought clearance to prosecute Saugata Roy (Dum Dum), Kakoli Ghosh (Barasat), Prasun Banerjee (Howrah) and Suvendu Adhikari, a former MP from Tamluk Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal. However, the same is still pending with the office of the Lok Sabha Speaker.
Commenting on the matter, a senior CBI officer said that the situation can only improve if the PMO decides to intervene and prevail over the government offices to quickly decide on the CBI’s request.
“It is frankly very demoralising that after we have done our work and spent so much of time and resources, the permission to prosecute does not come. Unless and until the PMO looks into it and asks the departments to decide on such prosecution request within a fixed time frame, nothing will happen. When you don’t decide on whether to allow prosecution or not, you are giving time and opportunity to the alleged accused to fix things by approaching people who can influence the case,” he said.