Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today welcomed the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s interim order under which the Anti Corruption Bureau need not take prior permission of either the Chief Minister or the Chief Secretary to inquire into acts of corruption indulged in by IAS and IPS officials and heads of departments.
Dr. JP recalled that the High Court in a recent order had also suspended the Government memo and enabled the ACB to arrest Government officials who had assets disproportionate to their income.
Dr. JP said that the High Court interventions were most welcome since successive Governments had sought to emasculate all agencies dealing with corruption. The Governments also abused the agencies to either stall inquiries into its blue-eyed officers or threaten those who fell out of their favor.
Dr. JP said that an effective campaign against official corruption could be mounted if the functions of the Vigilance Commission, the Anti Corruption Bureau and the Lok Ayukta could be integrated and placed under the charge of an empowered Lok Ayukta. The Lok Ayukta should be totally independent and autonomous. It should be provided adequate resources and personnel and technical expertise to crack cases involving money laundering and serious frauds also.
“The State legislators and members of Parliament are public servants by any reasonable definition. They all should be immediately brought under the purview of independent anti corruption agencies at the State and national levels. This will bring political corruption on par with official corruption, and the same norms, independent investigation and effective prosecution will apply to all cases of political corruption.”
Dr. JP demanded the creation of special courts in each district. The High Court should choose prosecutors from the judiciary and appoint them for the special courts. The properties of corrupt public servants should be forfeited to the Government by law.