MASS MEDIA HYSTERIA - TODAY’S SC JUDGMENT DOES NOT SAY THAT.

Today’s SC Judgment is a landmark one for reasons other than what the mainstream media has been talking about. First, as early as in 1996 itself, the Supreme Court had laid down guidelines to the effect that when sanction is sought to prosecute a public servant under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, the sanctioning authority cannot sleep over the files and that it should decide within a period of 3 months and in cases where a consultation with superior law officers such as the AG is warranted, a further period of one month could be taken. The guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in 1996 fell on deaf years. Again, in today’s judgment, the Court has gone into those very issues and has issued an emphatic direction that, IN FUTURE, all requests for sanction should be disposed off within a period of three months and in certain cases, within a period of 4 months. Now, the media has been saying that, IF SANCTION IS NOT GRANTED WITHIN 3 MONTHS, THEN SANCTION IS DEEMED TO HAVE BEEN GIVEN. I wonder if the media is reading from a different judgment. Today’s judgment is here: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0 B1fh2RGik6ynNTM1MmExZjUtNTZhMC00MTQ5LWFiYmEtZmFhZDdkOGQ5M zhl&hl=en_US In fact, the deeming fiction is contained in the concurring judgment of Hon’ble Justice A.K.Ganguly and is in the nature of a recommendation to the Parliament of India. So, the position that emerges from today’s judgment is that: SANCTION SHALL BE GRANTED OR DENIED WITHIN A PERIOD OF 3 MONTHS AND IN CERTAIN CASES, WITHIN A PERIOD OF 4 MONTHS. All right. Say, sanction is not granted as directed. Nor is it rejected. What happens then?

The answer to that question is not available from today’s judgment. For that answer, one has to wait for the Special Leave Petition the Supreme Court is hearing from a Allahabad High Court judgment in the nerve-wracking food scam in which the Allahabad High Court had ruled that if the sanctioning authority fails to decide upon the request within a period of 3 months, then the sanction is deemed to have been given. So, today’s judgment is a great one for many reasons. But not for what the mainstream media thinks it to be about. Will the mainstream media ever get its act together? And stop exciting people first and then disappoint them later? Regards K.V.DHANANJAY Advocate Supreme Court +91 99105 77765 +91 99029 09390

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