SC deadline is serious indictment of government: BJP (Lead)

January 31st, 2012 - 3:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) The Supreme Court judgment setting the government a three-month deadline to sanction the prosecution of public servants for corruption was a slap in the government’s face, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said Tuesday.

Party general secretary Ravi Shankar Prasad blamed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for protecting the tainted and questioned the government’s stand on the prosecution of Home Minister P. Chidambaram in the 2G spectrum scam.

“Today’s verdict of Supreme Court is a serious indictment of the functioning of the government of Manmohan Singh,” Prasad said.

His colleague Balbir Punj echoed him.

“BJP welcomes Supreme Court’s judgment. This judgment is a slap in the face of Dr. Manmohan Singh government,” Punj told reporters.

“We must not forget the application seeking sanction of prime minister against then telecom minister A. Raja was kept pending for 16 months,” added Prasad, noting that t the prime minister kept defending Raja in parliament and outside as well.

The BJP leader also asked what the government’s position was on action against Chidambaram.

“Dr Manmohan Singh, the BJP would like to ask you in the light of the present verdict, how do you react to the role of the then finance minister at the time of 2G scam and present Home Minister P. Chidambaram, as far as evidence relating to his involvement is concerned. There is voluminous evidence available on record”.

According to Punj, the judgment would have far reaching consequences in the citizens’ fight against corruption and in empowering the citizens.

He called it the second major embarrassment for the government.

“The first embarrassment this government faced was when prime minister had cleared Mr. (P.J.) Thomas’s candidature as the CVC chief,” he said.

Punj also accused the government of not taking action against those involved in major corruption cases.

“Many people who are guilty and accused of acts of omission and commission are going scott free,” he said. “In the 2G case, so far only (A) Raja has been sent to jail, other people who occupy more important posts in government and were equally responsible are free.”

“I am sure, this latest judgment will help the law catch them,” he said.

The Supreme Court Tuesday gave the government a three-month deadline for sanctioning public servants under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The apex court said this while allowing a petition by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy saying the prime minister was sitting on his application seeking sanction to prosecute former telecom minister A. Raja for his alleged involvement in the 2G scam.

An apex court bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and A.K. Ganguly also said the time period would be extended by another month if the government wanted to take the opinion of the attorney general.

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