For the past one year, 15 cases of corruption at higher offices are pending with the central government in which the CBI has sought permission under 6A of Delhi Special Police Establishment Act (DSPEA). This is one of the biggest impediment, according to agency, to check corruption at higher offices. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court brought relief to the CBI as it took away the shield that protected top bureaucrats from being investigated in corruption cases without prior approval.
CBI Director Ranjit Sinha told The Indian Express, “The judgment has brought big responsibility on us. The CBI will now have to be see that no innocent civil servant is harassed. The decision to examine any civil servant will be done with utmost due diligence and be taken only at an officer of the rank of Joint Director or above in CBI.”
The pending cases include that of Parimal Rai, an IAS officer being investigated for his alleged role in the 2010 Commonwealth Games scam. CBI sought sanction from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) last year but so far no decision has been taken. Rai, considered close to former Delhi CM Shiela Dikshit, is currently posted in Goa.
The agency is also awaiting sanction from the Civil Aviation Ministry to probe Yashwant Bhave, the chairman of Airport Economic Regulatory Authority. The agency has sent a request to probe his role in connection with the allegations by the erstwhile promoter of Aircel telecommunication, C Sivasankaran, that he was coerced into selling his stakes to Maxis Communication by the then telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran.
Similarly, in the coal block allocation cases, CBI request against the chairman of Competition Commission of India, H C Gupta, who was former coal secretary, was first declined in 2013. It was only after Gupta stepped down from the post that the agency was able to examine him.
CBI officials said delay in grant of permission many a times lead to delay in probe due to which investigations have suffered in the past. Giving an example of a long pending request, a CBI official said the request to probe the role of six senior officials in the Civil Aviation Ministry for their alleged role in irregularities in the Rs 8,000 crore Airbus deal for supply of 43 aircraft to erstwhile Indian Airlines in 2005, is still pending.