Seventeen years after the first plea was made, the Supreme Court on Tuesday commenced hearing to examine the constitutional validity of the law which makes it mandatory for the CBI to take approval ofthe competent authority to probe senior bureaucrats in corruption cases.
A five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Justice R.M. Lodha, will decide on the validity of Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, which protects senior bureaucrats from being directly probed by the CBI.
The first petition was filed in 1997 by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) in 2004.
They contended that the movement of the law gets affected by Section 6A, as it manifested in the 2G spectrum and coal blocks allocation scams.
Senior advocate Anil Divan, who is assisting the court as amicus curiae , said that when the investigation reached the level of joint secretary and above, it would come to a halt for want of approval under Section 6A. “The concept of independent, unhampered, unbiased, efficient and quick investigation of culpable high-level bureaucrats is subverted by the impugned provisions. This paralyses the effort to root out high-level corruption and undermines the rule of law,” he said. — PTI