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SC to pronounce judgment on corruption cases tomorrow

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Dec 5 (UNI) The Supreme Court will pronounce its judgment tomorrow on the petitions of senior politicians who have challenged their prosecution under the Prevention of Corruption Act, on the grounds that prior sanction was not obtained by the government from the competent authority.

The politicians include Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, his wife and former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi, former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, ex-Kerala Chief Minister K Karunakaran.

A bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and S H Kapadia had reserved the verdict after hearing marathon arguments spread over three weeks in the case.

The petitioners are facing allegations of amassing assets worth thousands of crores during their tenure through corrupt means by misusing their status as public servants. The assets acquired by these politicians are much beyond their known sources of income.

Mr Prasad and Ms Rabri Devi are facing corruption cases for their alleged involvement in fodder scam case. Mr Badal is facing allegations of amassing wealth of over Rs 3000 crore during his tenure as Punjab Chief Minister while Mr Karunakaran is facing prosecutionfor his alleged involvement in Palm Oil Import scandal which took place during his tenure as Kerala Chief Minister.

During the hearing, the issue of bribe taking by public servants had cropped up and the court had indicated that bribe taking cannot be a part of the discharge of official duty and hence the protection under section 197 Cr P C is not available to those found indulging in corrupt practices.

The protection of sanction is available only for bonafide and honest discharge of one's official duties.

Trial against majority of the petitioners have been stayed by the Apex court pending the final disposal of their petitions.

UNI AKS/SC PA VC2054

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