The Supreme Court on Tuesday slammed the prime minister’s office but gave Manmohan Singh a clean chit for the delay in deciding on the prosecution of then telecom minister A Raja in the 2G spectrum case.The apex court also set a limit of four months for deciding on sanction for prosecution of corrupt public servants. Allowing Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy’s petition against the Delhi high court judgment refusing to direct the PM on his plea for prosecution of Raja, the court upheld the right of a citizen to seek sanction for prosecution of a public servant for corruption.
Rejecting attorney general GE Vahanvati’s arguments, a bench of justice GS Singhvi and justice AK Ganguly held that Swamy had the locus standi to seek sanction.
Blaming the PMO for the delay in the decision on Swamy's plea to the PM, seeking sanction to prosecute Raja, it said, "Unfortunately, those who were expected to give proper advice to the Prime Minister and place the full facts and legal position before him failed to do so.
"We have no doubt that if the Prime Minister had been apprised of the true factual and legal position regarding the representation made by the appellant, he would have surely taken an appropriate decision and would not have allowed the matter to linger for a period of more than one year," the bench said.
The PMO responded by saying in a statement, "We welcome the fact that both the learned judges have completely vindicated the Prime Minister whilst appreciating the onerous duties of his office. The government is examining their directions regarding the manner in which applications for sanctions are to be dealt with."
Welcoming the verdict, Swamy said, "This is a victory for the Constitution and the war against corruption. It has empowered the citizen to go directly to the court to seek an inquiry against any act of corruption without seeking a sanction."