Saturday, September 24, 2011

Dr. JP makes out a case for strengthening CBI and ACBs

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today placed startling facts before the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Lokpal Bill as he made out a case for strengthening anti corruption machinery at the Center and in States.

Dr. JP appeared before the committee for the second day to offer his suggestions.

According to Dr. JP, the total number of convictions in both CBI and ACB cases throughout the country did not exceed 800 a year or seven per a crore of population – the lowest in the world. The total number of corruption cases being handled by the CBI and ACBs is only 16,000 in the entire country. Of the total 6000 CBI personnel, 4000 are clerical and support staff. Of the remaining 2000, only 1500 are dealing with corruption cases at the field level.

Dr. JP said that besides enacting a strong Lokpal Bill, attempts should be made to strengthen the CBI and ACBs substantially. They should have powers to investigate and prosecute the corrupt without any political interference.

Dr. JP also suggested enactment of a strong law for confiscation of the property of corrupt public servants. The Law Commission in its 166th report in 1998 had drafted such a law as suggested by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court, upholding the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators’ Act (SAFEMA) suggested that a similar law be enacted to cover corrupt public servants.

Dr. JP reiterated that the Union Government could provide for creation of Lokayuktas in States and Ombudsmen in districts as part of the Lokpal Bill under Article 253 of the Constitution. The Money Laundering Act had been passed as a follow up to India ratifying a UN Convention. With India now ratifying the UN Convention against Corruption, it can enact an anti-corruption law to cover the entire country.

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