The Vigilance probe against Indian Union Muslim League leader K.M. Shaji on allegations of amassing wealth by invoking the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 was stayed by the Kerala High Court for three months.
The court found force in the contention of the petitioner that prior sanction of the government was required to proceed against a public servant as prescribed under Section 19 of the Act. The petitioner also argued that the FIR was registered based on an order passed by the Enquiry Commissioner and Special Judge, Kozhikode, on a private complaint.
The court refused to accept the contention of the Special Public Prosecutor that the provisions regarding prior sanction applied only to cases registered before the amendments to the Act were enacted.
However, the single judge, after going through the materials placed on record and the amendments made to the Act, noted that there were no specific provisions in the amended Act enabling the special judge to invoke the jurisdiction to try the case without prior sanction.