Manoj Malviya, a senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer from the West Bengal cadre and a former additional commissioner with the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, received a major reprieve from the Bombay High Court in a corruption case recently.
The high court restrained the anti-corruption wing of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from taking any coercive steps against the officer. The court has, however, allowed the CBI to complete the investigation and file a chargesheet after obtaining leave of the high court.
The CBI had registered the case after it was found that during his tenure with the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security - between September 2005 and May 2010 - Malviya accumulated wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income.
Malviya had moved the high court seeking to challenge the prosecution contending the CBI had not obtained prior permission of the central government before lodging the FIR against him.
Counsel for the IPS officer, SN Raj had pointed out under section 6-A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, it was mandatory on the part of the prosecuting agency to obtain prior sanction before initiating any investigation.
He further pointed out that Malviya was an officer of the rank of joint secretary and therefore he was entitled to the protection provided under section 6-A.
Counsel for the CBI, Mandar Goswami, on the other hand pointed out that Malviya was working as a central government employee when a second FIR was registered.
Justice VM Kanade, who has stayed investigation against Malviya in an earlier case on the same ground, accepted Raj's contentions. "Since I have already held that prima facie there is material to indicate that the applicant was of the level of Joint Secretary, the applicant is entitled to grant of ad-interim relief," observed Justice Kanade while granting him protection.