Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta lauds SC ruling but says graft act needs upgrade

The Lokayukta (anti-corruption watchdog) of Madhya Pradesh, retired Justice P P Naolekar, today lamented that delay in sanctions by the state government to prosecute corrupt officers has become a major hurdle in the effective implementation of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA).

While appreciating the Supreme Court's decision to empower the Central Bureau of Investigation to look into the functioning of top bureaucrats without having to seek government permission, Naolekar, addressing an audience in Bhopal, sought amendments in the PCA to give more teeth to the Lokayukta.

He said it was only for lack of government sanction that the Lokayukta could not prosecute officers against whom corruption charges are thoroughly established.

According to Naolekar, as many as 112 cases in Madhya Pradesh - some of which are three - four years old - have been pending with the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government for sanction.

Under the PCA, the Lokayukta cannot prosecute corrupt officers without the permission of a competent authority.

On the Supreme Court decision giving more autonomy to the CBI Naolekar said, "It is a very good decision. Now the CBI can go on investigating things."