The Bombay High Court on Monday rebuked the state government, while hearing a criminal PIL filed by one Ankur Patil, who challenged a government resolution that makes it mandatory for the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to obtain a sanction from the state in order to prosecute its own officers.
A division bench of Justice RM Savant and Justice Sadhna Jadhav noted that the state government must review the rule that gives it up to nine months to decide on granting sanction to prosecute a public servant and make it shorter.
Additional Public Prosecutor Prajakta Shinde submitted that the ACB would not be able to prosecute officials without prior sanction. She said a large number of cases were still pending and she specifically mentioned a case from 2002.
In the said case, there were allegations against some officials of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA).
These allegations have been pending since 2002, but nothing has been done so far.
After hearing this, Justice Jadhav said: “By now, the concerned officials must have retired, no sanction is required now. This is all a farce.”
The court further noted: “Time has come for the state government to review its policy.”
Thus, the court has directed the State Home Department to file an affidavit in the matter within three weeks.