Seize properties of corrupt govt officials: CJI
Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan today favoured statutory provision for seizure of illegal properties and assets of government officials convicted in corruption cases.india Updated: Sep 12, 2009 16:42 IST
Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan on Saturday favoured statutory provision for seizure of illegal properties and assets of government officials convicted in corruption cases.
He also wanted specialised teams of lawyers to ensure that they will progressively develop expertise in prosecuting corruption-related cases.
“If a public official amasses wealth at the cost of public, then the state is justified in seizing such assets,” Balakrishnan said at a national seminar on ‘Fighting Crimes related to Corruption´.
“One prominent suggestion is the inclusion of a statutory remedy that will enable confiscation of properties belonging to persons who are convicted of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA)”, the Chief Justice said.
The CJI said procedural delays like granting sanction and difficulty in marshalling large number of witnesses were the major hurdles in achieving meaningful convictions when the anti-corruption agencies was already finding it difficult to grapple with 9,000 pending cases due to shortage of designated courts.
“It is necessary (that) there should be a speedy manner of granting sanction. The prosecution becomes ineffective if the sanction is granted after 6-7 years,” he said.
Balakrishnan expressed concern that CBI relies on large number of witnesses in the corruption cases instead of coming out with solid witnesses which unnecessary prolongs the trial of the case for 3 to 4 years. “Instead of having 8 to 10 witnesses, emphasis should be on having one solid witness to prove the case,” he said.