Lok Satta

Sunday, 12 September 2010 11:36

Tackle political mafia through stringent Anti Corruption law: Lok Satta

PDFPrintE-mail

There is no alternative to amending the Anti Corruption Act to recovering the ill-gotten wealth of top politicians and officials, Lok Satta Party State Working President D. V. V. S. Varma said here today.

 

Commenting on Opposition leader N. Chandrababu Naidu’s assertion that he would deploy the Revenue Recovery Act to recover ill-gotten wealth of Congress politicians if his party comes into power, Mr. Varma pointed out the Act could not prevent or mitigate routine corruption in implementation of even the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. It would be ridiculous if Mr. Chandrababu Naidu thinks he can tackle political mafia’s corruption with the Revenue Recovery Act.

 

Mr. Varma said that in the past certain politicians maintained ties with the mafia. However, today the mafia itself is ruling politics. The mafia is looting natural resources and gobbling up Government lands. If this unbridled corruption goes unchecked, the State will go into the hands of a few plunderers of public wealth and the common people reduced into perpetual beggars.

 

The Lok Satta Working President recalled that his party proposed a comprehensive amendment to the Anti Corruption Act and circulated a Bill to that effect when the then Chief Minister and Mr. Chandrababu Naidu hurled charges of corruption against each other in April 2008. Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan requested Mr. Chandrababu Naidu as the Opposition leader to take the initiative to convene an all-party meeting to discuss the Bill and get it passed in the Assembly.

 

If Mr. Chandrababu Naidu is serious about eradicating corruption, he should at least now work in that direction. Even the Government should consider the Bill in the context of corruption allegations ruling party leaders themselves are hurling against each other. Those promising eradication of corruption without overhauling the anti-corruption law are indulging in empty rhetoric or shadowboxing.

 

The Lok Satta Bill to amend the Anti Corruption Act brings under its purview all elected representatives ranging from a panchayat board member to Member of Parliament. It provides for constitution of special courts to try corruption cases, appointment of independent public prosecutors of the rank of a chief judicial magistrate, total autonomy to the Anti Corruption Bureau and an empowered Lok Ayukta. The Bill provides for seizure of property of an accused during investigation and attachment if proven guilty.

 

Mr. Varma counseled that people should not conclude the fight against corruption would be futile since it is too deep rooted. Such complacency will cut at the roots of democracy. Hong Kong, which was once notorious for widespread corruption, has eradicated it by constituting an autonomous body and ensuring sure and swift punishment of the guilty. “If you have the will to end corruption there is always a way.

 

Besides amending the anti corruption law, the Government has to bring in systemic changes providing for competition and giving choice to consumers, and deploy technology to eradicate corruption.