A Large Bench of the Supreme Court of India ruled that approval of the Central Government is not necessary in cases which are directed by this Court to be registered and the inquiry/investigation thereon is actually being monitored by this Court.
“The fact that the investigation is monitored by the constitutional court is itself an assurance that investigation/inquiry by the CBI is not actuated with ulterior motive to harass any public servant and the investigating agency performs its duties and discharges its responsibility of fair and impartial investigation uninfluenced by extraneous considerations”, the Court said.
The Court disposed off a bunch of petitions that seek clarity on the issue whether permission of Central Government is required under Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act relating to registration of preliminary inquiries by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against unknown public servants for offences under the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act for allocation of coal blocks.
Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act provides for obtaining approval of the Central Government to conduct inquiry or investigation where the allegations for commission of an offence under the PC Act relate to the employees of the Central Government of the level of the Joint Secretary and above.
The Court said, “When Court monitors the investigation, there is already departure inasmuch as the investigating agency informs the Court about the progress of the investigation. Once the constitutional court monitors the inquiry/investigation which is only done in extraordinary circumstances and in exceptional situation having regard to the larger public interest, the inquiry/investigation into the crime under the PC Act against public servants by the CBI must be allowed to have its course unhindered and uninfluenced and the procedure contemplated by Section 6A cannot be put at the level which impedes exercise of constitutional power by the Supreme Court under Articles 32, 136 and 142 of the Constitution. Any other view in this regard will be directly inconsistent with the power conferred on the highest constitutional court.”