Friday, January 7, 2011

The (ab)use of procedure to serve vested interests

Recently, the TOI reported that the Central Government(GOI) had cancelled the proposed All India common medical entrance exam. And why? Because MCI had not taken prior approval as required by the MCI Act 1956. Such a lapse could well have been condoned post facto but despite an expert body(MCI) proposing and the Supreme Court approving, the GOI decided to scrap the notification itself.

Surely, prior approval clause was meant to curb arbitrary/hasty action by autonomous bodies/regulators. But not granting approval in such cases amounts to misuse of the law.

Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 provides for 'previous sanction' before a Government servant can be prosecuted for corruption. Needless to say, the number of approvals are few and difficult under this  Act also. Delay is the best weapon in the hands of the corrupt.

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