SC slams Centre for "shielding" defence officials in Kargil


New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) The Supreme Court today slammedthe Centre for failing to initiate disciplinary action againstseveral defence officials indicted by the Comptroller andAuditor General(CAG) in December 2001 for lapses in purchasesworth over Rs 2000 crore made in 1999 for Kargil operations.

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and R M Lodha voicedconcern that a "chaotic situation" would arise in the countryif the government departments sit over the CAG reports andrefuse to accord sanction.

Though the CAG had found lapses in 35 cases, the defencedepartment refused to accord sanction for prosecution of theofficials claiming there was no substance in 28 of the cases.

"If the CAG has audited and found deficiencies and lapseson the part of officers, is anything more required forinitiating disciplinary action?

"Subordinate departments holding preliminary inquiriesand over-turning CAG reports may lead to a chaotic situation,"the Bench said.

Under sustained questioning from the apex court,Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium assured the bench that hewould personally sit with the Defence Secretary to review thedecision taken by the department not to grant sanction andreport back to the court at the next hearing. (more) PTI RB

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