New Delhi: The Government’s policy of ‘zero tolerance’ towards corruption seems to be far from reality. This is evident from the fact that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the premier investigating agency of the country, wants to initiate prosecution against 5 dozen government officials but the Centre is reluctant in granting CBI the sanction of prosecution despite Supreme Court’s order that the erring officials should be tried within four months.

Due to the lackadaisical approach of the government, the CBI has failed to prosecute 62 officials allegedly accused of corruption. The finance and health ministries have been shielding its officials time and again. The government is not giving permission to prosecute 15 officials of the Finance Ministry accused of corruption.

Despite being charged by the CBI, they are holding key positions in the capacity of Income Tax Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners in Mumbai and Delhi.

Similarly, 11 top officials in the Health Ministry are accused of corruption but no action has been taken against them.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), under which CBI functions, is equally careless in this regard as it has not given permission of prosecution against six top officials involved in corruption. Interestingly, the Ministry of Personnel had issued orders to all the union ministries and departments to wrap up such matters within three months. The Ministry of Personnel had issued the order after the government gave its nod to the recommendations made by the Group of Ministers (GoM) on fighting corruption.

Commenting on the issue, former Cabinet Secretary T R Subramanian said that lobbying and political clout of officials involved in corruption cases are the sole reason behind the delay in prosecution. According to Subramanian, one or two months should have been sufficient enough to prosecute these corrupt officials.

Keeping in view the 1997 order of the Supreme Court, the Centre should immediately frame a rule so that within two months, if no sanction of prosecution is granted from any department, sanction will be deemed to have been granted on suo-motu basis.

Mukesh Kejariwal/ JPN

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