Taking a stand different from the one adopted by Attorney General (AG) G E Vahanvati on the question of sanction for prosecution, the CBI on Thursday told the apex court that no sanction under Section 6(A) of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 was required, when the cases were monitored by a Constitutional Court.
Senior counsel Amarendra Sharan, appearing for the CBI, told a Bench comprising Justice R M Lodha, Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph that there was no requirement of sanction for prosecution in cases where the court has either directed an investigation or was monitoring investigation.
Making his submissions after the AG concluded his arguments, Sharan said the consistent pronouncements of the apex court on Section 6 of the DSPE Act and on Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act show that sanction for prosecution was not mandatory when the same was done pursuant to the court’s directions or where cases were monitored by the court.
Earlier, the AG told the Bench that Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, which deals with the issue of approval for sanction to investigate government officers of the rank of Joint Secretary and above, “has to be complied with until it is struck down by the court.”
Vahanvati said that Section 6A of the Act was meant to protect honest officers from being subjected to harassment. To this, Justice Lodha said, “Constitutional Courts are guardians of citizens’ rights. Will they not protect an honest officer? The court will be more concerned and more guarded to protect an innocent public servant. Will the courts fail in their duty in protecting the rights of the honest people,” Justice Lodha asked.