Supreme court protecting CBI’s autonomy

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In this land mark judgement, Supreme court has augmented its efforts to ‘uncage the parrot’-shield the CBI from political inerference, by striking down Section 6A of DSPEA and declaring it as unconstitutional.

Sec 6A of DSPE act requires CBI to seek permission from Central Govrnment before initiating any investigation or enquiry against officers of union government in the rank of Joint secretary and above.

The court held that this provision violates art 14 of the constitution which stipuates equality of law for every person as it is unjustifiable to segregate corrupt officers in to two classes based on their status and rank. Court said that all corrupt officers should be tracked down by the same process of inquiry and investigation.

This judgement nullified the law which was specially passed to provide this privileged protection to officials after a similar executive directive was nullified by Supreem court in Vineet Narain vs Union of Govt case in 1997.

The implications of this judgement are enormous. Apart from providing greater autonomy to CBI in investigations against higher central officials, it improves common man’s faith in judiciary as a bulwark of our democracy.
Nevertheless there are fears that this judgement will lead to greater ‘inertia’ in the bureaucracy because of increased fear among civil servants that any administrative decision could be basis of a corruption allegation. They will limit themselves to safe decisions which means that the ‘administrative paralysis’ will contiinue to plague the new government too.

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