Monday, September 13, 2010

Comments on Draft National Anti-Corruption Strategy

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) deserves to be complimented for undertaking the drafting of National Anti-Corruption Strategy, aimed at systematic and conscious reshaping of the country's National Integrity system and circulating the same for comments of the stake holders  


General Observation


 As reported, If 30% of the people in the country are corrupt, 50% are inclined to be corrupt if there is an opportunity and only 20% respecting values are against Corruption, who is going to monitor and implement the Strategies, Legal and Regulatory Framework for control of Corruption?  


Root Causes of Corruption


  "I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this    country,   such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage,and, therefore I propose that we  replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self esteem, their native self culture and they will become  what we want them, a truly dominated nation."


                                                                                                           --Exact Quote from Lord Macaulay in his speech of February 02, 1835

 "Neither Money pays, nor Name, nor Fame, nor Learning; it is Character that can cleave through adamantine walls of difficulties"


                                                                                                                                                                        -Swamy Vivekananda


The degradation / destruction of our ancient Spiritual, Cultural and Moral values are the root causes of the present day sad state of affairs and the country's National Integrity System can be reshaped only through restoration of ancient Value Systems in all its earnestness, right from the School Education.


Specific Comments


 While generally agreeing with the overview of the proposed strategy, the following specific points are highlighted for priority consideration:


a) Political Corruption is at the root of all the present day evils and contaminates   all  walks of life, like cancer. The Election code needs to be  modified, barring the people  with the record of the criminal offences / convictions, the established economic    offences, the well-known anti-social activities etc, from contesting in the elections. All  political executives must be brought under the purview of the Lokpal and they must be 
made accountable for omissions / commissions due to their biased / motivated decisions during their tenure of office.


 b) Administrative Corruption among the Civil Servants is attributable to surrendering  to / collusion with political executive, inability to resist extraneous influences, guarantee of service career irrespective of performance , lack of accountability  etc .To minimize administrative corruption the following measures need to be considered:


i)     Implementation of  recommendations of 10 th Report of ARC, regarding appointment, promotion, selection etc , so as to insulate them form the onslaught of political executive 


     ii)   To be made accountable for omissions and commissions by their decision making process during the tenure of particular office


     iii) Corruption  to be made a High-Risk Business, instead of being a High Profit Business as at present, by stringent & deterrent penal action


 Iv) All Civil Servants should be brought under the purview of CVC, without any Ifs and Buts 


     v) The promotions should be based on performance, competence and Integrity rather than on years of service only


C) Corporate Sector Participation is the breeding ground for Grand Corruption,   thro unholy alliance, invariably with the Politician and Civil   Servant. The ill-gotten money accumulated through corrupt practices, gets invested / spent either in  Corporate Sector through Benami Transactions or in Benami immovable  Property, Gold, Jewelry etc .It should be made difficult or impossible for the corrupt to invest or spend   the ill-gotten wealth by unearthing and resorting to Govt. Acquisition.  


The companies found to be guilty should be delisted / blacklisted apart  from treating them as untouchables with social stigma, so that they are 
economically hurt. The respective associations should debar them from  their membership. There should be deterrent penal action against the 
corporate bodies offering bribes or indulging in corrupt practices


d) Legal and Regulatory Framework needs to suitably modified to facilitate the  following:


i)     The person or corporate body offering bribe or indulging in corrupt practices also to be punished, to ensure that all parties involved in corrupt practices   are dealt equitably and adequately.


ii) The possession of properties disproportionate to known legal sources of income of a public servant be declared as an offence and such  
     properties  be confiscated by the State even pending prosecution.


iii) It is extremely important that Prosecution takes place within a short time frame by  simplification of legal and administrative procedures


iv) For speedy disposal of cases related to corruption and economic offences,  the mandatory outer limit of one year be fixed, by
     appointing   special   judges for the purpose, laying down guidelines to avoid adjournments etc


       v) Exemplary punishments should be meted out to Senior Public Officials, Corporate Bodies and Individuals convicted of corrupt practices  
           and the fact of such punishment should be widely publicized and disseminated, to send across the right message.