A day after Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar criticised him for not clearing files, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan hit back on Wednesday saying he will continue to distinguish between proposals meant for individual gain and those in larger public interest while taking decisions.
"Issues that do not fit rules and regulations, and proposals seeking special concessions come to me for clearance. I decide such matters only after studying them properly," Chavan said at a press conference. "Studying them takes time."
Pawar had said in Pune that Chavan's government was paralytic when it came to clearing files. Countering Pawar's claim, the CM's office said Chavan has processed 26,551 of the 27,701 files placed before him in the past 34 months.
"At a time when the Supreme Court is considering whittling down the section which provides protection to officials facing corruption allegations, the proposed amendment is a government ploy to thwart investigations posing a great deal of discomfort to it," he said.
The CBI is awaiting the nod to prosecute 36 high-ranking officials named in high-profile corruption cases. With the government battling a string of corruption scandals, this requirement is being intensely debated.
The CBI says the permission to move against serving officers rarely comes and has sought the intervention of the Supreme Court, which is monitoring the coal scam investigation, to change the law.
The CBI has also told the SC court that it should not be asked to seek the Centre's permission to probe officials in the cases that the court asks it to probe. The SC has reserved its judgment on the matter.