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  • Published
    13th Sep, 2023


As per the recent ruling by a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court regarding the retrospective application of Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, has raised questions about the balance between accountability and protection in anti-corruption laws and its implications for past and future corruption cases.

Retrospective Effect of 2014 Verdict

  • Supreme Court Retroactive Ruling: Supreme Court's 2014 verdict on Section 6A made retrospective to 2003. Section 6A needed central approval for corruption probes against senior officials.
  • Constitution vs. Laws: Upholds the principle that post-Constitution laws can't contradict the Constitution, it must ensure alignment with legal and constitutional principles.
  • Impact on Corruption Cases: Affects past cases between 2003 and 2014 under Section 6A. Highlights the challenge of balancing accountability and effective anti-corruption measures.

Limited Applicability

  • Temporal Limitations of Ruling: Ruling applies solely to allegations between 2003 and 2014 under Section 6A. Excludes cases post-2014 with Section 17A's government approval mandate.
  • 2018 Amendments and Section 17A: 2018 amendments introduced Section 17A, necessitating government approval for investigations into public servants' decisions. Balancing safeguards with justice and transparency remains crucial.
  • Anti-Corruption Provisions: Striking a balance is essential between anti-corruption safeguards and ensuring efficient, transparent investigations. Ensuring fairness while preventing misuse is a complex challenge.

Balancing Accountability and Protection

  • For fair investigations: Balancing accountability and protection ensures effective, fair investigations.
  • Challenges of Fairness: The challenge is to maintain fairness without impeding genuine corruption probes.
  • Purpose of Anti-Corruption Laws: Laws should serve their intended purpose, exposing corruption and shielding unscrupulous individuals.
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