Thursday, August 18, 2011

Corruption in India: The Premise We Cannot Pretend to Ignore

Overview of the Corruption Perceptions Index (...Image via WikipediaThis is a guest post by SCT discussing the substantive issues and contextual approach towards drafting multiple versions of the Lokpal Bill which guides on the question of including the PMO, Judiciary, Members of Parliament and junior officers in the ambit of the Lokpal or not.

There are three drafts on Lokpal bill coming in public domain. I do not to wish to go into details as the drafting details can be taken care later on if we are clear about the substantive issues to be tackled.

The popular perception is that corruption at high places of executive, legislature and judiciary has reached unacceptable levels and people at the top level of all the three wings of State are unwilling or unable to do anything. Recent examples of the PM office coming in disrepute over several large scams, Ministers or equivalent directly found prima facie accused of mammoth corruption, eight former Chief Justices accused of corruption in a petition before the Supreme Court, Parliament accepting shameful act open bribing on issue of "No Confidence", have made informed persons desperate.

Corruption has entered every institution and every walk of life and people feel that it flows from top. In such a situation, we have to have a mechanism for dealing with corruption by PM or his office, as also the corruption in higher judiciary particularly in the various High Courts.

If this is accepted, the drafts can be examined and seen as to which is most appropriate or that another draft with parallel bills for Judicial Accountability and Codification of Parliamentary Privileges be taken up. The problem is neither in drafting nor in any constitutional infirmity, it is in some of these "highest vested interests" agreeing to be treated on par with others and subject themselves to independent scrutiny.

The guest author is Shri S.C. Tripathi I.A.S. (Retd 1968) L.L.B. M.Sc. He takes an interest in education, economy, energy, legal, political and constitutional issues. This is his third blog.


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