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Petition challenges rule requiring govt nod for ACB inquiry

A local activist has moved the High Court against an official circular which makes it mandatory for the anti-corruption bureau to seek permission of the state government before initiating inquiry against a public servant.

The circular issued by the general administration department of Maharashtra Government on March 12, 1981 says that ACB must take permission from the government if it wants to conduct inquiry against any class-one officer if he is a member of all India service or the head of a department as defined in Bombay Civil Service rules.

This rule had now become irrelevant, says petitioner Ankur Patil, in view of the Supreme Court judgement in the case ‘Subramaniam Swamy versus CBI’.

The apex court, in the judgement on May 6 this year, had said that every public servant who is facing inquiry for corrupt offences shall be treated equally, without any differentiated procedure.

Advocate Sandesh Sawant, Patil’s lawyer, said the Director General of ACB had written a letter to the government to withdraw this circular in view of the SC judgement.

The division bench headed by Chief Justice Mohit Shah then gave four weeks’ time to the petitioner to produce this letter and adjourned the hearing to next month.

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