The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre and Rajasthan Government to file status reports indicating the action taken by them against erring officials in the gunrunning scandal allegedly involving army and state officials.
“How can you take the issue so casually? File a status report on the action taken,” a bench headed by Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan said after petitioner Arvind Kr. Sharma, an advocate, pointed out that the state government has not sanctioned the prosecution of its officials involved in the scam.
Sharma, who filed the petition in 2007 for a CBI probe into the scandal, said despite admitting that senior army officers were involved, the Centre has not taken any concrete action.
The scandal relates to sale of prohibited/Non Service Pattern (NSP) bore weapons obtained from army personnel through the Central Ordnance Depot, Jabalpur in violation of the Arms Act, 1959.
Defence Minister A K Antony had told the Rajya Sabha on December 3 last year that action had been initiated against 46 retired and serving Army officers.
The state has admitted before the SC that irregularities had been found in 325 cases, out of which 227 licences had been cancelled and 98 cases were under consideration. In at least 41 cases, arms licences were illegally issued to persons with a criminal background from Punjab after Ferozepur authorities refused to issue/renew their licences.
According to the state’s affidavit, in one of the seven cases, the original record has not been available after it was handed over to Special and Economic Offence, CID, Rajasthan, Jaipur as per directions of officials.