Subramanian Swamy

The Supreme Court today (31 January 2012) accepted Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy’s petition against the Prime Minister’s Office in the 2G spectrum corruption case. The court ruled that Swamy had the right to ask the Prime Minister’s office to sanction the prosecution of former Telecoms Minister A.Rajah for corruption charges.

According to the present rule, a public servant cannot be prosecuted without the approval of a top government authority. The court noted that all public authorities should give a sanction within 3 months if a request is made for prosecution against any public official . If consultation with the Attorney General was necessary, the authority could take one more month to give its sanction. If no sanction is given within four months, Justice A K Ganguly said, it can be taken that proceedings can commence against the official concerned.

He added that Parliament should bring an amendment specifying that, if sanction is not given after 4 months, then it would be deemed that sanction has been given.

This verdict comes as an additional embarrassment to the government and the ruling party, which has been badly affected by the scandal.

Subramanian Swamy, hailing the High Court decision, said, “Sanction was a big hurdle. Getting sanctions used to take a long time. The PMO took 16 months to clear sanction in A Raja’s case.”