Centre to empower common man to punish corrupt babus

In a first, the Centre has decided to empower common man to seek prosecution of corrupt IAS officers.

In a first, the Centre has decided to empower common man to seek prosecution of corrupt IAS officers.

The move comes after a Supreme Court judgment, in the case of Subramanian Swamy versus former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and others, saying there is no provision in relevant laws which bars a citizen from filing a complaint for prosecution of a public servant who is alleged to have committed an offence.

Following this verdict, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) received requests from private persons seeking sanction for prosecution in respect of IAS officers without any proper proposal and supporting documents.

It is observed that such requests, as are received from citizens are more in the nature of complaints sans any supporting details, evidence, which can at best merit inquiry of substantial facts as are evidenced i.e, such requests are without any proposal and supporting documents, the DoPT said in a draft guidelines issued today.

Keeping in view the basic parameters and requirements for cases received from investigating agencies, it has been decided to streamline the procedure for handling the requests for prosecution sanction received from the private person, it said.

"A proposal from a private individual seeking sanction for prosecution of an IAS officer serving in the state government may be routed through the concerned state government as such state government is best placed to provide basic inputs as regards the alleged misconduct of the concerned public servant who is or was working under its administrative control.

"In case a proposal is received directly by DoPT by such private individuals will be forwarded to the state governments for the preliminary examination vis-a-vis the relevant records," it said.

If there is a prima facie case against an IAS officer, the state government should prepare a detailed report and consider obtaining version of the concerned officer.

Such report along with all relevant records and evidence should be forwarded to DoPT (which is the cadre controlling authority for such officers) with the approval of the competent authority there, the proposed guidelines said.

In case the concerned state government is of the view that prima facie no case is made out of any alleged misconduct which may constitute an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, it shall inform the person who has made the request for sanction for prosecution about it, the DOPT said.

In case a prima facie case is made out, the same will be treated as a proposal as per existing procedures to initiate action for processing the matter for decision of the competent authority, it said.

All state governments and central government ministries have been asked to provide their comments on the proposed guidelines by August 12.

A total of 4,926 IAS officers are working across the country as against its total sanctioned strength of 6,396.

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