No will to fight corruption even in the current draft of the Lokpal bill, says thinktank
Trithesh Nandan | August 23, 2011
Despite what they might have claimed about curtailing corruption, successive governments over the last 14 years, sanctioned prosecution only in about 1.73 percent of the cases registered with central vigilance commission (CVC). The government has also sanctioned fewer cases with the central burau of investigation (CBI) over these years.
“Country’s main anti-corruption body, registered 77,925 cases during 1996-2009 but the government has given sanction for prosecution only in 1,348 cases i.e. in 1.73 percent of the registered cases,” says the report prepared by New Delhi-based think tank Asian Centre for Human Rights.
“As to how many of these 1.73 percent cases led to actual conviction is a matter of conjecture. It is scandalous,” said Suhas Chakma, director of Asian Centre for Human Rights on Tuesday.
“The annual break-up of the sanctions were as follows: 1 case in 1996; 12 case in 1997; 27 cases in 1998; 60 cases in 1999; 51 cases in 2000; 53 cases in 2001; 51 cases in 2002; 127 cases in 2003; 120 cases in 2004; 141 cases in 2005; 150 cases in 2006; 192 cases in 2007; 138 cases in 2008 and 225 cases in 2009,” the report said.
The report said that even though corruption has multiplied since liberalisation of the Indian economy in 1990s, the number of cases being registered by the CBI has been falling. There were 1,116 cases registered in the CBI in 1990 which came down to only 731 cases in 2010.
“India’s premier investigating agency, the CBI, registered a total of 18,629 cases during 1990 to 2010. In comparison, the anti-corruption bureaus (ACB) of different states and union territory administrations registered a total of 57,851 cases during 1988-2009 under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988,” the report held.
It also noted that the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 failed to address scams exposed from the official statistics of the government of India and its agencies.
It also criticised the current Lokpal bill drafted by the government and said there is no political will to address corruption. “The UPA government seeks to provide the same impunity under Sections 50 and 51 of the Draft Lok Pal Bill 2011 by making false complaints punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall be less than two years but which may extend to five years and with fine which shall not be less than twentyfive thousand rupees but which may extend to two lakh rupees,” Chakma added.
He said, “The successive governments have provided impunity to corruption and other human rights violations through the regime of prior sanction for prosecution of the accused.”
The report suggested government to withdraw the draft Lokpal bill, 2011 and dissolve the parliamentary standing committee set up to consider the bill. It also urged government to focus on accountability, not Anna Hazare's fast.
Read the report
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