New Delhi: With increase in instances of delay in deciding on sanction of prosecution cases involving corrupt officials, the Centre on Friday asked all its ministries, especially banks and public sector undertakings, to "strictly" follow the time limit of three months.

The move came following a review meeting by the Secretary of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) on pending cases of sanction of prosecution in which various discrepancies, in violation of its existing directives, were noted on part of various government departments.

In a significant number of cases pertaining to banks and PSUs, it was noted that the disciplinary authorities first decline the sanction and thereafter seek advice of Central Vigilance Commission, an apex body for vigilance matters, which is a clear violation of laid down norms.

It is stipulated that the competent authority shall take a tentative view regarding the action to be taken and then seek advice of CVC in the matter and after getting the Commission's view, the concerned Ministry or Department shall finalise its views.

In an official memorandum sent to all departments, the DoPT said, "It is reiterated that before passing orders on requests for sanction for prosecution, the instructions issued by this Department are strictly adhered to."

A disciplinary authority has to take a decision on granting sanction to prosecute a public servant accused of corruption within three-month time. However, additional time of one month may be allowed where consultation is required with the Attorney General or any other law officer in the AG's office.

It was also noticed that various Ministries do not adhere to the stipulated time limit. "It is imperative that the stipulated time limit must be strictly adhered to," the directive said.

(Agencies)

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