FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION
Post.8 Dated 26,Aug, 2011
India’s Fight Against Corruption is still a long way ahead. Now – we are reasonably sure that a strong Lok Pal will be a reality within a few months time. It may be mid way between Govt Lok Pal and Jan Lok Pal – and slightly differing from both. At present, what we understand is – Anna wants 3 simple demands fulfilled in Parliamentary debate and final Bill.
LOWER BUREAUCRACY : Some people are of the opinion – that including lower bureaucracy will involve a gigantic structure and huge expenditure. This need not be. This blog had many times suggested that – just bring in the present Anti-corruption / vigilance wings of all Departments under Lok Pal and create a deputy Lok Pal for each such wing of a Ministry or department. The expenditure will not go up.
All future selections for these wings must be by the Lok Pal organization – and it should be inter/trans-ministerial – rather than intra-departmental as at present. People of one Ministry will be shifted to another on their selection to Lok Pal; but, it can be with some humane considerations.
The present intra-departmental selection of personnel was the cause of ALL INEFFICIENCIES of these anti-corruption wings till now. These were inefficient, incompetent and hugely biased – because of their affinity for the known personnel in their offices / department. By making Lok Pal responsible for all selections and making the selections Trans(inter)-ministerial, the problems are solved significantly.
So, bringing Lower bureaucracy under Lok Pal is not going to involve huge additional staffing.
LOK AYUKTH : Second Problem is of Lok Ayukth. States are neck deep in corruption while Centre is only hip deep in corruption. Lok Ayukth for states is a more urgent necessity than Lok Pal for centre. If you do not create Lok Ayukth for all states uniformly – states like Gujarat and Karnakata may also feel like abolishing their Lok Ayukth acts and Lok Ayukth Posts – and they will be justified in doing it – if Parliament does not feel it justified to include Lomk Ayukth also in the Lok Pal Bill.
As we all know, our major headache is with the Police, the Panchayat office, the RTO etc – and not with Post offices of railway offices. So, please, do not hesitate to bring in Lok Ayukth for all states please.
CITIZEN’S CHARTER :How do you establish corruption? If my need in a Government office is not done in a reasonable time – I must assume demand for corruption. Make the citizen’s charter clause simple, direct and effective. But, definitely include it in the Bill. By this one caluse, corruption comes down and efficiencies will go up.
These are 3 simple demands of Anna.
Why hesitate to accept them, sir. My appeal to Parliament and PM is – Please accept the validity of these 3 demands and include them in your resolution.
The country will be grateful to you.
PUNISHMENTS : Here, I do not agree with either Team Anna or with Government Bill. As with all other Laws, this law is also blundering on punishments. Punishments must be just, adequate, reformative and constructive – but not punitive and destructive.
If we are to punish both Bribe givers and bribe takers with Jail sentence as prescribed in these 2 Bills, most of India will be in Jails only. Does it not look foolish, sir.
For 1st offence and second offence, impose hefty fines. Impose, reduction in salary. For third offence, drastic reduction in Grade. A Tahsildar may be made even a peon, for the third offence. A commissioner may be the lowest Grade Gr. A officer again. But, keep out Jail sentence. If the bread winner is Jailed, the family will be on streets, begging. The bread winner himself, after Jail term, will become a permanent criminal for his livelihood. Many of our Laws are draconian in this respect. But, this one Law of Lok Pal will be capable of putting into Jail, the whole of India.
Keep the Jail sentence – for huge scams like 2G, CWG where Ministers do it daringly and glaringly. For Government servants, limit to the 4th offence onwards. From then on, send them from Lok Pal to the courts of law for Jail Punishments. Indians are all capable of reforming; and they will reform. A Hard core of 0.1% may remain, corrupt even then.
Make the Lok Pal a reality – very quickly, sir. Many MPs are saying – Parliamentary Authority is being eroded by Anna’s Agitation. But, sir, this agitation has come after 42 years of Parliament’s delay. Don’t you all think – that Parliament has eroded its own authority?
And then – how did Government deal with Swami RamDev? Or, even with Anna? These are ugly scars on our National History. Nothing short of that.
Make Laws quickly and effectively. Make Indian Parliament a model for the rest of the world. We all want Parliament to be the effective Institution it is designed to be.
Who is most dignified in Parliament? Many are. But, in my view, Meira Kumar, the speaker is the most outstanding – in her ever smiling way of dealing with agitated speakers and MPs. She always handles the sessions like the most benevolent mother of agitated children.
I find her as the Most dignified and effective person in Parliament.
Madam Speaker, Hats off to you.
* * * JAI HIND * * *