New Delhi: Supreme Court Rules No Case Can Be Initiated Against Joint Secretaries or Above Without Approval
No case can be initiated against officers of the rank of Joint Secretary or above of the Central Government without the approval of the competent authority, as per a decision given by the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Monday.
The Supreme Court has stated that its 2014 decision to repeal Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946, will be effective from September 11, 2003.
Section 6A of the DSPE Act had previously stated that in corruption cases, no investigation can be conducted against officers of the level of Joint Secretary of the Central Government or above without the approval or permission of the competent authority. This provision also exempted them from arrest. Therefore, it is now established that no permission from the competent authority is required to investigate pending cases against bureaucrats.
Unanimous Decision of the Constitution Bench: In 2014, the Supreme Court had declared Section 6A of the DSPE Act unconstitutional in response to a petition by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy. Now, the Constitution Bench of five judges, led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, has reaffirmed this decision unanimously.
The Supreme Court was hearing an appeal against an order of the Delhi High Court. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had arrested an individual for allegedly taking a bribe. The Delhi High Court had ordered the CBI to investigate after obtaining permission from the Centre. The CBI had challenged this decision in the Supreme Court.
The Apex Court Repealed Section 6A (1) in May 2014
In its May 2014 judgment, the Supreme Court declared Section 6A (1) of the law invalid, stating that the exemption provided in this section has a “tendency to protect corrupt people.” The Constitution Bench’s decision on Monday addressed whether the repeal of the provision granting immunity from arrest would have a retrospective effect considering the rights protected under Article 20 of the Constitution.
★The Supreme Court has ruled that no case can be initiated against officers of the rank of Joint Secretary or above of the Central Government without the approval of the competent authority.
★The decision to repeal Section 6A of the DSPE Act, 1946, was made effective from September 11, 2003.
★Section 6A of the DSPE Act previously prevented investigations against high-ranking officials without the approval of the competent authority and exempted them from arrest.
★The Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court unanimously reaffirmed the 2014 decision to declare Section 6A unconstitutional.
★The Supreme Court was hearing an appeal against the Delhi High Court’s order, where the CBI had been ordered to investigate a bribery case with permission from the Centre.
★The Supreme Court’s 2014 judgment had declared Section 6A (1) invalid, citing its tendency to protect corrupt individuals.
★The recent decision considered the retrospective effect of the repeal of the provision granting immunity from arrest under Article 20 of the Constitution.
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