The Income Tax department on Wednesday conducted raids at the residence of Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Ram Mohan Roy on Wednesday. In certain quarters a question is being asked if the department had prior sanction before conducting the raid.
The Supreme Court had in March 2014 held the legal provision that makes the prior sanction to conduct a probe against senior bureaucrats in corruption cases invalid under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The verdict delivered by a Constitution bench comprising the then Chief Justice R M Lodha and Justices A K Patnaik, S.J. Mukhopadhaya, Dipak Misra and Ibrahim Kalifulla held that Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, which granted protection to the joint secretary and above officers from facing even a preliminary inquiry by the CBI in corruption cases, was violative of Article 14.
The bench observed that corruption is an enemy of the nation and tracking down a corrupt public servant, howsoever high he may be and punishing him is a necessary mandate under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The Supreme Court observed that the status or position of a public servant does not qualify the person from exemption from equal treatment. The decision making powers does not segregate corrupt officers into two classes as they common crime doers and have to be tracked down by the same process of inquiry and investigation, the bench also held.