Mere allegations will not do.
People who want the government’s permission to prosecute IAS officers will have to provide evidence to back their charge, the Modi government proposed on Thursday.
The move to lay down the ground-rules for handling proposals from citizens for prosecution of Indian Administrative Service officers comes four years after the Supreme Court’s directions in a case filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy. Under the law, public servants cannot be prosecuted without the government’s approval to protect the innocent from unnecessary harassment.
Swamy had complained to the SC that former PM Manmohan Singh’s office sat on his request for sanction to prosecute telecom minister D Raja for manipulating sale of 2G telecoms spectrum licences. The court ruled Swamy was entitled to seek prosecution under the law and the government had to decide on such complaints.
The verdict, however, led to a spate of requests from people to seek the government’s approval for prosecution of officials. These complaints, however, were without “any supporting details, evidence” and could, at the most, be probed to establish the facts, a circular issued on Thursday by the government said.
The government’s draft of the new rules put out on Thursday requires state governments to submit a report if evidence collected by the citizen makes out a prima facie corruption case. The officer concerned should also be given an opportunity to present his version.
If the request is just a bundle of allegations, the government should reject the request and inform the citizen.
If the state government supports the request for prosecution sanction, the Centre would treat complaints at par with official proposals from investigating agencies such as the CBI.