Upset with the delay in taking a decision on a proposal to sanction prosecution of public servants, the Bombay high court on Friday sought explanation from the Maharashtra chief secretary.
A division bench of justice BH Marlapalle and justice UD Salvi directed the chief secretary to file an affidavit explaining why the sanction to prosecute Navin Singh Raghuvanshi, the then director of a state government undertaking, Maharashtra Vansanshodhan Sanstha, Chandrapur, and his wife Renu was not cleared.
“This seems to be a joke,” said the judges, noting that the proposal was pending with the Revenue and Forest Department since February 2008. “You are virtually defeating the entire purpose of the anti corruption act.”
Referring to an affidavit filed by DN Tare, assistant commissioner of police, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), the court asked public prosecutor Pandurang Pol why the proposal was gathering dust. Pol said guidelines had to be framed in this regard. Dissatisfied with the reply, the judges gave the chief secretary time till July 18 to file the affidavit.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Renu seeking quashing of the FIR on the grounds of delay in filing of charge sheet against the couple, who allegedly accumulated ill-gotten wealth to the tune of Rs2.37 crore.
In May 2001, the ACB had initiated an inquiry into Raghuvanshi’s assets. The formal FIR was registered on July 10, 2003. The director general ACB forwarded the proposal seeking sanction to prosecute the couple to the additional chief secretary, home, in 2008, from where it was sent to principal secretary, Revenue and Forest Department on February 14, 2008.