Himachal pulled up for inaction against corrupt officials

August 19th, 2011 - 1:28 am ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Aug 18 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh High Court Thursday again pulled up the state government for its tardiness in granting sanction to prosecute corrupt officials.

A division bench of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rajiv Sharma directed Chief Secretary Rajwant Sandhu to depute an officer, not below the rank of under secretary, to take a call regarding sanction for prosecution of tainted officials.

The bench adopted tough a stand after the central government informed the court that the delay in sanction was not on its part, but on that of the state government.

It also observed that the state took inordinate time twice to give clarification sought by the central government in this regard.

The court directed the chief secretary June 17 to forward within a week the comments required by the union personnel ministry in a case pending for prosecution sanction from the ministry for over 14 months.

The high court order comes on the plea of Sher Singh, a former drug controller who was arrested by the state vigilance bureau in an alleged bribery case and was placed under suspension. A trial court convicted him in June this year.

When he filed the petition questioning a departmental inquiry against him, the high court asked for details of the officers arrested in similar cases and reinstated later.

At least 23 senior government officials, including Indian Administrative Service officer Sanjay Gupta, two Himachal Administrative Services officers, additional superintendent of police-rank Himachal officer Mohinder Singh and Sher Singh have been named in the list of tainted officers which the chief secretary supplied to the high court earlier in the case.

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