Himachal High Court Lays Out Time Frame for Prosecution in Corruption Cases

Shimla: Taking a tough stance against delays in prosecution in corruption cases where investigations are completed, the High Court has asked the state government to take a decision about prosecution sanction within three months for all such cases after a request for it is made.

The orders came in a criminal writ petition in which Director General Police under oath had pointed out to the delays involved in proceeding with corruption related cases.

Taking cognizance of an affidavit by chief secretary that there were 6 corruption cases where the delay for acceding to the prosecution sanction request had been pending for more than 3 months, a division bench of Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justicre VK Ahuja directed for taking a decision on the matter in 3 weeks.

For all other corruptions cases where the investigating agencies seek a request for prosecution sanction, the judges asked the chief secretary to decide the matter within 3 months.

“In order to avoid any ambiguity, it is made clear that in all the cases of request for prosecution, the government shall take decision within 3 months of the request from the quarters concerned for sanction whether of gazette or non-gazetted officer,” the order stated.

Other than setting a time frame for prosecution of corruption cases in which investigation are completed, the court also asked the government to furnish details as to how many cases were there in government had given prosecution sanction, how many were pending, what was the period of pendency and what are the reasons for pendency.

The court also made the Director, Forensic Science Laboratory, Junga as an respondent to the petition and asked the agency to state under oath as to what was the normal time required to examine documents that were forwarded by the police.

DGP police had cited the time taken by the forensic lab in completing investigation in corruption cases as one of reason for delays occurring.

The court before posting the matter for 17th June asked the lab to suggest ways to reduce the delays so that once an FIR is lodged the whole proceedings is terminated preferably within a year.

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