Top officers can be investigated without the government's sanction, the Supreme Court today ruled, saying that "a corrupt servant is a corrupt servant."
A provision in the law governing the CBI says the agency needs sanction from the government to investigate senior bureaucrats accused of corruption. That provision, Section 6A of the Delhi Police Act, was struck down by the court, which called it unconstitutional.
"Corruption is the enemy of the nation. You can't discriminate between a senior and junior level officer. A corrupt servant is a corrupt servant. You cannot protect one set," the judges said.
In 2003, the rules requiring the government's permission to investigate top officers were brought in by an administrative order, which the court had then called unconstitutional. The measure was again brought in by an amendment in the CBI Act, which was today struck down.
"Just because officer happens to be a senior officer above the level of joint secretory he cannot be granted this kind of protection or immunity from investigation," the court said.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had petitioned the court against the 2003 rule arguing that it discriminates while investigating a senior or junior officer.