Maintaining that CBI’s findings and statements were not “gospel truth”, the UPA on Tuesday refused to budge on the issue of prior sanction needed to investigate an officer facing corruption charges even as the Supreme Court felt such supervision “frustrated” court-monitored probe.
In an apparent face-off between CBI and the Centre, the prosecuting agency took a contrary view before the SC claiming it did not need any government sanction to investigate an officer of the rank of joint secretary and above in court-monitored corruption cases.
Submitting before a three-judge bench hearing the coalgate scam case, attorney general GE Vahanvati insisted on government retaining the power to reject or allow CBI to question an officer in a corruption case.
“The government might have to place documents in support of the officer. It is just to ensure he or she is not harassed,” he said.
Not impressed with the AG’s contention, the bench kept asking AG the objective behind government retaining the power to accord prior sanction to the CBI for investigating an officer.
To dispel the apprehension of an officer being harassed, the bench said the CBI could seek the court’s permission to investigate the officer facing corruption charges.