Saturday, May 8, 2010

Lok Satta demands amendments to Prevention of Corruption Act

The Lok Satta Party today demanded that the Andhra Pradesh Government amend the Prevention of Corruption Act immediately in the wake of corruption charges laid by Mr. Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, and Mr. P. Govardhan Reddy, former Minister, against Cabinet Ministers.

Talking to the media, Lok Satta leaders Mr. Bheesetti Babji, Mr. V.Lakshman Balaji, Mr. P. Bhaskara Rao said corruption in Andhra Pradesh has become ubiquitous and the guilty are going unscathed as the Government is not serious and sincere about mitigating if not eliminating corruption altogether.

They recalled that Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan has sent a draft Bill to amend the Prevention of Corruption Act to leaders of all parties to tackle the growing menace of corruption in the State.

If the Bill is adopted, MLAs and MLcs, elected members of panchayats, municipalities, municipal corporations will be deemed as public servants and attract the provisions of the Corruption Act.

It may be recalled that Mr. Rayapati had asked why the Anti Corruption Bureau did not raid Ministers. It was simply because the ACB hands are tied by the present provisions in the law. Thanks to a court judgment , the ACB has of late started raiding even IAS officials since it need not seek prior Government clearance.

A permanent solution, however, lies in a comprehensive amendment of the Prevention of Corruption Act providing for attachment and seizure of properties of a corrupt public servant during inquiry and forfeiture once the person is pronounced guilty.

The Lok Satta sponsored Bill provides for the establishment of a special court in every district, appointment of chief judicial magistrates as special public prosecutors, and autonomy to the Anti Corruption Bureau.

The Lok Satta leaders recalled that Legislature sessions have witnessed leaders of both the ruling party and the opposition trading corruption charges. But surprisingly, neither the ruling party nor the Opposition seems to be serious of seeking an inquiry and the punishment of the guilty.

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