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The Supreme Court on Tuesday held that Central government’s approval was not necessary for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate or probe the role of a senior bureaucrat in a court-monitored corruption case.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice RM Lodha empowered the CBI to investigate joint secretary and above ranked government officers without waiting for government’s sanction, as laid down under Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, in court monitored cases. This would also hold good in cases registered on the court’s direction.
The order paves way for unhindered CBI investigation into the Coalgate scam after a special bench felt that progress in the case was slow. Observing corruption had hit the nation badly and slowed down economic activity, the bench brushed aside Centre’s contention that 6A was meant to protect senior bureaucrats from facing harassment or vexatious litigation.
The court said constitutional courts monitored investigations to ensure proper progress is made in a case. As the sentinels of justice they have been vested with extraordinary powers of judicial review to ensure rights of citizens are duly protected.