Representational picture
Representational picture

BHOPAL: Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has clipped the wings of ministers by adding Section 17A to the Anti-Corruption Act. Lokayukta’s Special Police Establishment and the Economic Offences Wing had to take permission from departments for initiating an inquiry and preparing challans seeking permission for inquiry used to reach the office of a minister. But after the amendment of the Act, a minister will send any case of inquiry to the chief secretary who will forward it to the Chief Minister. Therefore, the ministers have lost power to inquire into the cases of corruption. Besides the ministers, the officers posted to different departments will not be allowed to inquire into such cases. As the cases will reach the Chief Minister through the chief secretary, there is barely any scope for fiddling with the inquiry.

Agencies don’t have to take nod for every case

Despite this amendment, the probe agencies do not have to take permission for inquiry into every case. They have to take permission from the government for inquiring into the recommendations made in government work and decisions. If there is an inquiry into corruption in implementing any project, the agencies do not have to take permission from the government.

According to a senior officer, the probe agencies do not need permission to probe corruption cases connected to implementation of projects. It is clear in the order that permission has to be taken to inquire into the decisions taken by various authorities.

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Free Press Journal