The Supreme Court made observations against unnamed officials of the prime minister's office (PMO) without giving them a chance to explain their position in the 2G case verdict relating to time-bound permission to prosecute public servants facing corruption charges, a confidential government note has said.
The law ministry, in response to queries from the department of personnel and training (DoPT), has said “some of the critical references by the Supreme Court against the PMO” didn’t even come up during arguments before the bench of justice GS Singhvi and justice AK Ganguly.
On the basis of this note, prepared in consultation with the attorney general, the government has sought a review of the SC's January 31 judgment on a petition filed by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy against the Prime Minister.
The ministry termed as unjustified comments made against PMO officials for the 16-month delay in responding to Swamy’s letters that sought sanction to prosecute former telecom minister A Raja in the 2G scam. It said these were “contrary to principles of natural justice”.
“On the court’s query, the affidavit was filed by the PMO only to place on record the factual position. It was never the subject matter of any argument or discussion before the court,” the ministry stated.
“Though justice Singhvi raised an issue as to whether a complaint can be filed by a citizen for prosecuting a public servant, this aspect was never agitated or argued,” the note stated. Criticising the four-month mandatory deadline set by the court to decide on applications for sanction of prosecution of public servants, the ministry argued: “It's necessary to sound a caution since it's possible an application may be based on patent falsehood or forged documents.”