This refers to the editorial Protecting honest babus (FE, July 18). Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, in opposing the judgment of a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court that governments permission was not required for the CBI to prosecute senior bureaucrats suspected of corrupt practices, ignored two vital facts. One is the basic principle of equality before law laid down in our Constitution. There cannot be one law for lawmakers and public servants and another for the public. The other fact he ignored is that the provision of prior permission for prosecution is used by the government more as a shield against prosecution of the dishonest. There are many instances where such permission was indefinitely held up or even refused by the government in case of politicians and bureaucrats suspected to be involved in corrupt practices. Honest public servants must, of course, be shielded against harassment by the prosecution agency but corrupt, whosoever and whatsoever he/she is, must not be out of the reach of law. It should not be the discretion of the government to say yes or no to such prosecution. One way for shielding honest public servants may be provision of harsh punishment for the prosecution officers if their case fails to withstand scrutiny of law in the court.
MC Joshi, Lucknow