Prafulla Marpakwar-MUMBAI: Deputy collector Kiran Mahajan, additional commissioner (tribal) G R K Rao, public works department executive engineer Deepak Kaware and police sub-inspector Deepali Shinde are among 77 senior officials against whom the Anti-Corruption Bureau has sought permission to prosecute, but the request is gathering dust.
When a public interest litigation was filed before the high court, the home department led by senior NCP politician R R Patil had made the assurance that permission to prosecute the officials would be granted within 90 days. It was learnt that in reality the government was yet to grant permission to the ACB for prosecution in 77 cases even after the 90 days.
“ACB has sent reminders to the competent authorities, but there is no response,” a senior IPS official said. “It appears that a section of errant officers is so powerful that the government does not give permission to prosecute them.”
The IPS official said that the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act require permission of the competent authority before launching prosecution. “We feel that the mandatory provisions should be deleted and, instead, if permission is not granted within 90 days, permission should be granted by deeming provision,” the IPS officer said.
In the 77 cases analyzed by the ACB, the officer said the heads of department of accused officials did not respond to letters sent to seek permission to prosecute.
In another 216 cases, the 90-day mandatory period was yet to be completed, said the IPS officer.
In the case of Mahajan, a Pune-based revenue officer, permission was sought on September 13, 2012; in the case of Kaware, permission was sought on September 4, 2012; in the case of Rao, it was sought on July 27, 2005.
A senior IAS officer felt that in view of the prolonged delay in granting permission, it was high time that the chief secretary and the home secretary personally reviewed all pending cases. “If permission to prosecute is not granted even after 90 days, then there is scope for suspicion that there is influence of the accused on the competent authority,” the officer said.