The Supreme Court’s fresh guidelines on sanctioning the prosecution of corrupt officials suggest that until now corrupt officials were getting support from the government in some form or the other. The court has in its ruling substantiated that any complaint filed under the Prevention of Corruption Act is not merely a fundamental right of the citizens but also the order to prosecute the concerned official must be give within a time frame.  This is worth mentioning that the Apex court has clarified that if the government fails to approve prosecution of corrupt officials within four months, then it is deemed as approval for prosecution. This decision is very important as the list of pending or denied requests for prosecuting corrupt officials is getting lengthy. In some cases requests from the Central Vigilance Commission and the Central Bureau of Investigations for the permission to prosecute corrupt officials was denied despite prima facie evidences against them. It is very disappointing that the Supreme Court had to intervene in the matter as Subramanian Swamy’s plea to the Prime Minister to prosecute 2G scam accused A Raja went unnoticed for 16 months. It is even more disappointing that the Apex court held the PMO responsible for holding back Swamy’s petition to prosecute A Raja.

No matter how the government reacts to the order of the SC, an adverse statement on the PMO is not a good sign. Though the government is not willing to accept the order of the SC as a dent to its image, the fact remains that the Centre is once again in the dock. We cannot be satisfied that 2G accused A Raja is behind bars as orders to prosecute Raja was not given for16 months despite Swamy’s petition. It was only after SC criticized the role of the PMO, the action was taken against Raja. Supreme Court’s order rips apart the claims made by the government of taking action against corrupt officials. If that is not the case then why is it that the government is hesitating to grant permission for the prosecution of top 40 officials accused in the cases of corruption? The Supreme Court’s suggestion to the Parliament on amending the Article 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act merely conveys the message to people that the legislature is not playing its role to root out corruption from the society. In this context, one cannot overlook the fact that even after making a promise the Parliament failed to pass the Lokpal bill.