SC observation no setback, says govt

SC observation no setback, says govt

Government on Tuesday insisted that the Supreme Court's observation on sanction of prosecution in 2G case was not a setback to it and said it has taken a number of "proactive" anti-corruption measures that includes removal of discretionary powers for Ministers.

Minister of State in PMO V Narayanasamy told PTI that the observations by the apex court did not "reflect upon" the functioning of the government and cannot be used as an instrument to "settle political scores."

"It is not a setback. It is not an issue where one can settle political scores...It is one of the observations made by the Supreme Court. Several matters come before the Supreme Court and the court gives its observation on those issues," he said.

He was responding when asked to comment on the Supreme Court holding that filing of a complaint under the Prevention of Corruption Act is a constitutional right of a citizen and the competent authority should decide within a time frame on granting sanction of prosecution of a public servant.

The Minister said the UPA Government has taken a number of "pro-active" measures on the anti-corruption front by introducing legislations like Lokpal and Citizens Charter.

"We proactively removed the provision for sanction to prosecute officials. This has been done in Lokpal. We have been taking a number of steps in this regard," he said.

Sources in the PMO noted that the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011, which could not be passed in the last session of Parliament, has a provision wherein prior sanction would not be necessary for investigation and initiation of prosecution by Lokpal under Prevention of Corruption Act in certain cases.

Listing the steps initiated by the government to tackle graft, Narayanasamy referred to removal of discretionary powers for Ministers and ratification of the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

The Minister, who also holds the portfolio of Department of Personnel and Training, said the Government has also brought Administrative Reforms and Judicial Reforms.

He said the Supreme Court has observed that Parliament will have to frame laws and it will be considered.