Himachal High Court pulls up state for going slow on prosecuting tainted officers

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Thursday pulled up the state government for going slow in obtaining prosecution sanction against tainted officers, a matter that is being pursued vigorously by the court.

Hearing a petition by former drug controller Sher Singh Thakur, a division bench consisting of Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rajiv Sharma directed chief secretary to depute a competent officer, not below the rank of under secretary, with all the files pertaining to sanction for prosecution of tainted government officers pending with the state government.

The court passed the orders after the counsel of central government informed the bench that the delay in prosecution sanction was not on part of the union government, but on part of the state government.

The court observed that on two times, the state government took inordinate time for offering clarifications sought by the centre.

In an earlier hearing the court had directed the union ministry of personnel affairs to explain as to why there was an inordinate delay of more than a year in taking final decision with regard to the prosecution sanction.

The court had even pointed out that the Supreme Court had directed that prosecution should not be delayed beyond three months.

In response, counsel for the central government let the court know that response of the state government was received after around seven months at one time and after nearly three months on another instance.

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