The central government Thursday moved the Supreme Court seeking the review of its Jan 31 verdict, which held that the sanction for the prosecution of a public servant could be applied for even before a complaint is filed against him/her.
A bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice A. K.Ganguly (since retired) had, on their verdict on a plea by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy, ruled that application for seeking sanction for prosecution could be made even before the filing of a complaint.
“It can well happen that a person can seek a grant of sanction and upon granting of such sanction, not file a complaint. The effect of this can be disastrous for the public servant,” said the petition
While raising four grounds for seeking the review, the government said: “The review petition is being filed for the limited extent of correcting certain errors apparent in the impugned judgment.”
The apex court judgment sought to be reviewed was pronounced while the court allowed a petition by Swamy challenging Delhi High Court order which said that since the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was probing irregularities in the grant of 2G licences and allocation of spectrum, it would not be in fitness of things to issue a writ of mandamus to the prime minister to take decision on Swamy’s representation seeking sanction to prosecute Raja.
The review petition criticised the verdict, saying it was wrong and legally untenable and no sanction for the prosecution could be given without court taking cognizance of the offence alleged against a public servant.
It also raised the issue of the scope of the scrutiny by the competent authority of the plea for sanction to proceed against a public servant. “The competent authority is also entitled to examine if the request is ex facie based on false material or assess whether the material is genuine or not,” the petition said.
The review petition has challenged the adverse observations made against some unnamed officers of the prime minister’s office contending that such observations could not have been made without making them a party in the case.
It has also sought the review of the three month time limit fixed by the court on deciding on the application seeking sanction to prosecute a public servant. The court had held that delay in deciding the deciding the application seeking sanction for the prosecution of a public servant was violative of the Article 14 of the Constitution.