The BJP on Tuesday welcomed the Supreme Court’s observation that public officials must decide within three months on pleas for prosecution of government functionaries, dubbing it the “second indictment” of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after the CVC appointment controversy months ago. The Prime Minister’s office, however, said the court had vindicated the PM.
“Today’s verdict of the Supreme Court is a severe indictment of the UPA government, particularly the functioning of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,” said BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad. “The application seeking prosecution of the then telecom minister A Raja was kept pending for 16 months.”
He further alleged that the PM had given “vague replies” to questions on Raja and insisted the CBI was looking into the matter. The BJP also sought to know if the Singh-led UPA government would permit an “honest investigation” into the role of the then finance minister P Chidambaram in the 2G scam.
The PMO, however, differed. “It is not a setback. It is not an issue where one can settle political scores. It is one of the observations made by the Supreme Court. Several matters come before the Supreme Court and it gives its observation on those issues,” minister of state in the PMO V Narayanasamy said. “We proactively removed the provision for sanction to prosecute officials. This has been done in the Lokpal bill. We have been taking a number of steps in this regard.”