Senior lawyers said on Wednesday that the Supreme Court judgment clarifying that prior sanction was not needed to prosecute public servants, including MPs and MLAs, in corruption cases would speed up delivery of justice.
They said the courts had ruled similarly on earlier occasions too, but this case was highlighted because high profile politicians were involved. “Courts had been taking the view that action should be defined in terms of official duty.
Only then does the question of protection arise,” said R.K. Jain. “But bribery, as the court has ruled, does not fall in the category of official duty.”
Former law minister Shanti Bhushan gave an example of what 'official duty' meant. “If there is a train accident, the driver of the train needs protection, because the incident occurred while he was discharging his official duty.
But if there is a strong corruption case against a politician, this judgment will ensure that the politician will not be able to wield his influence and delay the sanction,” he said.
K.T.S. Tulsi said the judgment applied a law that was already there. “In the Jain diaries case, the court had struck down the direction to the CBI not to register cases against joint secretaries and above, without permission of the government,” Tulsi said.