Devadatt Kamat (for Info only, not official)

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Devadatt Kamat

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    Media Object

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    ...The conflicting views of the Supreme Court on the precondition of “sanction” for prosecution of a public servant under Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act, 1988 have created a legal vortex which could be exploited by unscrupulous public servants to stifle a criminal investigation. The independence of criminal investigation from the executive is a sine qua non for success of a criminal justice system — this assumes even more significance in corruption cases where allegations are made against a public servant who is a part of the executive which controls the police. Section 19 of the PC Act states: “No court shall take cognisance of an offence… alleged to have been committed by a public servant except with the previous sanction.” The provision aims to balance two competing interests. One is the need to ensure that an honest public servant is not hounded in the performance of his or her duties by frivolous complaints. The other is that investigation into an allegation of crime isn’t stifled at the threshold due to the power wielded by a public servant. ...

    Indian Express on Jan. 18, 2017, midnight

    Media Object

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    ...The first ordinance on the subject was promulgated in January, the second in April and the third in May. The ordinance seeks to plug certain loopholes in the Enemy Property Act, 1968 and tighten the control of the government over enemy property. The merits and demerits of the ordinance are open to debate. But the method of repeated re-promulgation of ordinances by the executive raises serious constitutional concerns. The question is whether a government which does not possess a majority in one House of Parliament can overcome this handicap and resort to Article 123 to legislate through successive re-promulgation of ordinances. The democratic scheme underlying our Constitution envisages law making by Parliament. Ordinance making power under Article 123 is an emergent power given to the executive to legislate when Parliament is not in session. This power is to be used sparingly in emergent and extraordinary situations, when Parliament is not in session. ...

    TOI on Sept. 27, 2016, 2 a.m.