New Delhi: As many as 129 officers above the rank of joint secretary have been booked by CBI, which has registered 97 corruption cases against such officers during the last three years, Rajya Sabha was informed on Thursday.
Of the 97 cases registered, 71 are regular cases and 26 preliminary enquiries, Minister of State for Personnel Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, V Narayanasamy said in reply to a question.
He said of the 129 officers booked, 15 are involved in more than one case. Narayanasamy also said in 14 cases, sanction for prosecution sought by CBI against such officers are pending. He said two officers are common in two cases each.
The minister said permission sought by CBI to start enquiry against 23 officers of the rank of Joint Secretary and above is also pending.
"As on July 31, 2012, out of the 71 regular cases, charge sheet have been filed in 30 cases against 31 officers of the rank of Joint Secretary and above," he said.
Narayanasamy said as per a Supreme Court's direction, "Time limit of three months for grant of sanction for prosecution must be strictly adhered to...additional time of one month may be allowed where consultation is required with the Attorney General or any law officer in the AG's office."
However, he said, "It is sometime not possible to adhere to this time limit. The delay which occurs in the sanctioning of prosecution is mostly on account of detailed scrutiny and analysis of voluminous case records and evidence, consultation with Central Vigilance Commission, state governments and other agencies and sometimes non-availability of documentary evidence."
In order to check delays in grant of sanction for prosecution, the DOPT has issued guidelines which provides for a definite time frame at each stage for handling of requests from CBI for prosecution of public servants, he said.
The GoM on tackling corruption had also given certain recommendations for speedy disposal of sanction of prosecution cases which were accepted by the government, the minister said.
The recommendations included "taking decisions on such cases within three months; monitoring of the cases at secretary level...and in cases of refusal to accord sanction, submission of report to the next higher authority within seven days for information (where competent authority is minister such report report is to be submitted to the Prime Minister", he said.
Referring to pending of CBI seeking permission to start enquiry against the 23 officers as per section 6A of Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, Narayanasamy said regarding permission under the Act, which makes it compulsory to take consent of the state government before exercising powers and jurisdiction, the GoM has recommended that the competent authority shall decide the matter within three months with speaking orders.
"In the event, a decision is taken to refuse permission, the reasons, thereof, shall be submitted to the next higher authority within one week for information (where competent authority is Minister, such report is to be submitted to the Prime Minister). This recommendation was accepted by the government," he said.