Wednesday, February 8, 2012

PM in a fix: To punish the corrupt advisors or not?

2G order: PM wants to know whether his officers should be punished
Sunil Prabhu, Updated: February 08, 2012 17:14 IST
New Delhi: The Prime Minister wants to know if any members of his office need to be penalized as a consequence of a recent Supreme Court verdict on the telecom scam. In its verdict, the court pulled up the Prime Minister's Office, and also recommended that the government consider a four-month deadline for responding to requests to prosecute government servants on charges of corruption. Dr Manmohan Singh has asked Attorney General GE Vahanvati to advise him within a week on whether the government should, in a review petition, ask the Supreme Court to reconsider its verdict.

On January 31, the court ruled that the Prime Minister's Office was wrong to have taken nearly 16 months to respond to a request by Subramaniam Swamy that asked for permission to prosecute former telecom minister A Raja in connection with the 2G scam. Mr Swamy sent in his request in November 2008. He finally took the government to court. The law makes it necessary for the Prime Minister to sanction the prosecution of a union minister.

The Supreme Court said, "The concerned officers in the Prime Minister's Office kept the matter pending and then took the shelter of the fact that the CBI had registered the case and the investigation was pending." However, it was much gentler on Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, saying that he "is not expected to personally look into the minute details of every case placed before him and has to depend on his advisers and other officers." (Read: Verdict gentle on PM, tough on his advisors)

Though the court did not mention any names, the PM has asked the Attorney General if he is expected to take any action against those who were his closest aides at the time.
2G order: PM wants to know whether his officers should be punished

Comment: Where is the need to seek SC clarification when the corrupt advisors logically need to punished for their omissions and commissions!

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