Trials of public servants facing corruption charges are likely to be expedited with the state government doing away with a provision that required double scrutiny of proposals seeking sanction to prosecute them.
According to a Government Resolution (GR) issued by the state government recently, such proposals, forwarded by the anti-corruption bureau (ACB), will be decided by the concerned head of the department and will not be sent to the home department for a second (and final) opinion.
The GR came to be issued after the Bombay high court expressed displeasure over a provision in the GR dated July 6, 2009, which required a proposal to be scrutinised by the home department and the deputy chief minister after the decision of the concerned head of department.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Ahmednagar district supply officer Sopan Kasar challenging the provision in the July 2009 GR. He had approached the high court through advocate Ashish Gaikwad after a proposal forwarded by the ACB seeking sanction to prosecute him in a graft case was forwarded to the home department for second opinion although his parent department - the revenue and forest department had rejected it in February 2010.
He had contended that the procedure stipulated under the clause of July 2009 GR was contrary to the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, which requires the head of the department of the public servant facing corruption charges to take a final decision and approval to it from the concerned minister.
Claiming that he had been framed in a false case, Kasar further contended that the provision for double scrutiny by the home department was illegal and violating his fundamental rights.
According to the new GR, the decision taken by the HoD will be ratified by the minister holding charge of the department in case of public servants having a pay scale up to Rs10,650 and by the chief minister in case of public servants having pay scale above Rs10,650.