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Justice K.G. Balakrishnan tells the truth

Corruption, a threat to national security too: CJI
Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan, flanked by CBI Director Ashwani Kumar (left) and Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Prithiviraj Chavan, during a seminar ‘Fighting crimes related to corruption’ at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on Saturday. NEW DELHI: Whatever the causes of corruption, the “alarming fact is that there is considerable tolerance of the same in our society,” Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan said on Saturday.

It was a “reprehensible practice” that demands for bribes were made even for the delivery of essential services, like issuance of ration cards and approval of electricity and water connections.

He was addressing a seminar on “Fighting Crimes Related to Corruption,” organised here jointly by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science.

“Families who are already disadvantaged on account of poverty and illiteracy are further exploited and denied amenities. Independent studies have shown that the incidence of corruption is the highest when it comes to interactions with the local police, allocation of housing and in the maintenance of land records and registrations and in courts also as it involves so many people and is not a one-man system,” the CJI said.

In the long-run, the costs of corruption were not confined to the money that changed hands under the table. The real costs were difficult to measure as they involved loss of opportunities for business, investment and diversion of manpower. In some cases, corruption posed a threat to the national security and law and order.

“We are all aware of how smuggled arms and explosives were used for the bomb blasts in Mumbai in 1993, as well as the financing of terrorist operations through hawala dealings. All in all, the pervasive culture of graft provokes pessimism about the quality of governance,” he said.

Minister of State for Personnel and Public Grievances Prithviraj Chavan said the government already approved the setting up of 71 special executive courts for CBI cases. He appealed to the judiciary to find innovative solutions to reduce the huge pendency, and work towards making the criminal justice system efficient, fast and fair.

Courtesy : The Hindu


‘Amend statute to nail corrupt babus’

Law Minister Wants Graft Cases Tackled Swiftly


New Delhi: Barely 24 hours after CJI K G Balakrishnan asserted that sanctions to prosecute babus were not always forthcoming, Union minister for law and justice Veerappa Moily on Sunday said prior sanction should not be needed to prosecute a public servant in a corruption case.
With the ball squarely in the court of the political class, Moily responded to the CJI’s observations emphasising that there was a need to “revisit” constitutional provisions, including Article 311, which work as a shield for babus accused of corruption. The minister said he was pursuing the matter with PM Manmohan Singh.
Moily suggested that in cases where there was direct or overwhelming evidence as with officials caught redhanded accepting graft, prosecution should be swift. “The criteria for accepting sanctions need to be redefined,” he said.
The CJI had said that aggrieved parties were having to approach the judiciary because higher authorities were not allowing investigating agencies like CBI to prose
cute public servants though there was enough incriminating material against them. Delays in prosecution led to the accused getting away.
“Prior sanction should not be necessary for prosecuting a public servant who has been caught red-handed or found in possession of assets disproportionate to known sources of income,” said Moily. The law minister made a strong case for amending the Prevention of Corruption Act to include perversion of Constitution and democratic institutions amounting to deliberate violation of oath of office, abuse of authority by unduly favouring or harming someone, obstruction of justice and squandering of public money.

Courtesy : Times of Indian

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