Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Arrest of Raja not enough, Dr. JP tells Delhi

While formally welcoming the long overdue arrest of former Telecom Minister A. Raja and his former colleagues in the department, Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today demanded that the Government of India come out of its stupor and energetically and aggressively pursue an anti corruption agenda.

That the Union Government has lost its moral authority to govern is evident from fact that its leading lights maintained there was no loss to the exchequer in the 2G spectrum allocation and that the appointment of Mr. Thomas as Vigilance Commissioner was impeccable.

The present symbolic arrest of Mr. Raja and his colleagues once more underlined that the Government was reacting to pressure exerted by the civil society, media, the Opposition and the judiciary on the eve of the Parliament’s budget session.

Dr. JP said that corruption in Indian polity cannot be eradicated without the institution of an independent and powerful Lok Pal. The Lok Pal should be empowered to initiate inquiries on its own, control the Central Bureau of Investigation and other concerned agencies and have an independent prosecutor. The Bill being considered by the Government contemplates the creation of a toothless Lok Pal.

Dr. JP reiterated his demand that all tainted and irregular 2G spectrum allocations be cancelled, windfall tax collected from operators who minted money without any value addition through resale of licenses and allocation of all scarce natural resources, including spectrum, through auction.

He also wanted the Government of India to ratify the UN Convention against Corruption without further loss of time and initiate vigorous steps for recovery of ill-gotten wealth Indians stashed in foreign tax havens.

Dr. JP hoped that the Supreme Court, which is seized of the 2G spectrum allocations, would bring the culprits to book and that investigative agencies would extend their whole-hearted cooperation to the apex court.

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