The CBI on Monday claimed that the Uttar Pradesh government was not cooperating with it in expediting a decision on sanction for prosecution against IAS officer Pradeep Shukla, who has been arrayed by it as a prime accused in the multi-crore National Rural Health Mission scam.
Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra, while adducing the records of communication with the state government, contended before a Bench led by Justice D K Jain that there had been several reminders to the authorities concerned in the last three months, but the CBI was yet to receive a concrete response.
The CBI was compelled to ask for a recommendation from the state government after the Central Vigilance Commission, which is an independent agency, asked us to do so. We are ready to go on with the case and file chargesheets as soon as we get a sanction. However, the state has not been cooperating even though there have been at least six reminders to them since August, adding that the delay in proceeding with the case got occasioned only since the UP government had not sent their views on the question of sanction.
The Supreme Court expressed its displeasure regarding delay in proceedings in the case and said it was surprised that the CBI had been waiting for a sanction from the UP government despite its judgment that sanction would be deemed to have been granted if the competent authority fails to decide it within three months.
Under which provision the DoPT is asking for a sanction from the state government? If the CBI is going to take so much of time, what will happen to other agencies? You are still considered to be the premier probe agency. You are begging the state government which is not taking action despite being reminded by you to decide it expeditiously. We are mindful that whenever there is some element of interest of state government is involved, such things happen, remarked the Bench.
Luthra requested the court to give him a final opportunity to revert with a definite stand on the sanction, following which the court adjourned the matter.