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Letters: Questions remain

The principle is that the decision-maker is responsible for the consequences of his action

Business Standard  |  New Delhi 

With reference to the editorial, “Lessons from coal” (May 24), the judgment of a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court to jail three senior on charges of corruption in awarding a in Madhya Pradesh to a private party in 2006-07 raises some questions as well.

It is difficult to believe that the officers working under the himself, known for procedural correctness and integrity, would have dared to break the rules to benefit from this on their own and for their good only. The fact that the dropped the case during the United Progressive Alliance rule and reopened it under the Supreme Court’s directive strengthens the doubt.

As for the verdict, the issue was whether it was a case of utter inefficiency, a bona fide error of judgement on the part of the accused or corruption. The court decided it was a case of corruption despite lack of proof of any ostensible gain to the accused. It should have suggested the to probe the matter further to see whether other parties, who benefited most from the decision, were involved.

Besides, the principle is that the decision-maker is responsible for the consequences of his action. In this case the then PM should have been held responsible. It was his duty to ascertain from the accused whether the procedure was followed properly instead of waiting for feedback from them. Some strictures or observations on his blind faith would have been in order.

As for the after-effect of this decision, it is now unavoidable that the amended Prevention of Corruption Bill pending in the Rajya Sabha is passed — it protects honest bureaucrats by bringing in the issue of mens rea and protects retired government servants by requiring government approval before prosecution.

Y G Chouksey Pune
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