SC seeks govt reply on plea challenging amendments to anti-corruption law

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the central government, seeking its reply on a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging amendments made to the Prevention of Corruption Act. 

A two-judge bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the petition warranted a hearing and sought the government’s reply within six weeks. 

The PIL, filed by NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation, challenged amendments made to Section 17A of the Act act could be misused by corrupt officials.

In amendments notified earlier this year, the government had said that no police officer could investigate any offence allegedly committed by a public servant without the state or central government’s approval.

The amendments had, however, said that no approval will is required for arresting a person accused of accepting bribe or attempting to accept any undue advantage for themselves or for any other person.

The amendment, the government had said in July, would bring the required due diligence to be done by government servants, while preventing undue harassment of honest officers and fasten decision making.

Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act originally required approval from the state or central government for conducing enquiry, inquiry, or investigation into any offence alleged to have been committed by a public servant only if the said employee was an officer above the rank of joint secretary.

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