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SC wants a four-month deadline for govt to give sanction; what about the years of trial in a court?
The Supreme Court is right in underlining the need for speedy sanction to prosecute public officials in corruption cases. The court was responding to a petition by Subramanian Swamy, who alleged "inordinate delay" by the prime minister's office in responding to his petition on the 2G spectrum scam, and withholding sanction to prosecute the then telecom minister, A. Raja. The UPA argued that the PM was waiting for the CBI's probe to be completed before granting this sanction, a view upheld by the Delhi high court, but now struck down by the Supreme Court, which has demanded a clear and brief timeline for such sanctions.
The judgment is unambiguous that much public corruption carries on unchecked, secure in the knowledge that the legal process is arduous, and can be indefinitely deferred. And so, the Supreme Court has stated that the government can take no more than one month for legal opinion, and three months after that to decide on the sanction. After the four months pass, it will be assumed that the sanction is granted.