BANGALORE: The Supreme Court recently in a landmark verdict ruled that the Central Bureau of Investigation can probe and prosecute them without Centre's permission, retorting that corrupt officials, whether high or low, are birds of the same feather and must be treated equally, reports Dhananjay Mahapatra of TOI.
"Based on the position or status in service, no distinction can be made between public servants against whom there are allegations amounting to an offence under the Prevention Corruption Act, 1988," the bench added.
Repealing Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, which makes it mandatory for the agency to get prior approval of the Centre to probe against an officer of joint secretary-rank or above, the court held that the provision hampers impartial probe and protects crime-doers.
The Supreme Court says, "Prior permission from the Centre to probe corruption charges against joint secretary level officers would fetter the CBI from collecting evidence and also alert the corrupt to destroy evidence," reports TOI.
The apex court said the previous approval from the government necessarily required under Section 6-A would result in indirectly putting to notice the officers to be investigated before commencement of investigation.
"Corruption is an enemy of the nation and tracking down corrupt public servants and punishing such persons is a necessary mandate of the PC Act, 1988,” added SC.