Lok Satta

Saturday, 29 May 2010 08:29

Dr. JP welcomes TDP stand on eradicating corruption

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The Lok Satta Party today wholeheartedly welcomed the Telugu Desam Party demand that the State and Union Governments enact a law providing for attachment of ill-gotten wealth of politicians. (The TDP adopted a resolution to this effect at its Mahanadu under way in Hyderabad now).

 

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, now in the U. S., said in a statement that the TDP demand was heartening.

 

Dr. JP, who circulated a draft Bill to amend the Prevention of Corruption Act among all legislature parties, had already requested TDP President N. Chandrababu Naidu to take the initiative as Leader of the Opposition to convene an all-party meeting to consider the Bill and move it in the Assembly, if the Government did not come forward.

 

Dr. JP pointed out that the Bill specifically envisages a key role to the Leader of the Opposition in all appointments of senior officials of the Anti Corruption Bureau.

 

Dr. JP appealed to Chief Minister K. Rosaiah to view corruption from a non-partisan angle and eliminate it by creating the requisite institutional mechanisms. In his connection, he recalled Mr. Rosaiah’s recent call to the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) to be stern in dealing with irregularities and corruption and advising it “to command people’s respect and strike terror in the hearts of the corrupt.”

 

Dr. JP hoped that Mr. Rosaiah would walk his talk by taking the initiative to amend the Prevention of Corruption Act. If the Bill drafted by Dr. JP is adopted, MLAs and MLCs, elected members of panchayats, municipalities, and municipal corporations will be deemed as public servants and attract the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

 

As per the Bill, an accused public servant has to prove his innocence in cases of trap or disproportional assets. It provides for attachment and seizure of property during investigation and forfeiture of property when he or she is found guilty.

 

The Bill provides for establishment of a special court in every district, appointment of chief judicial magistrates as special public prosecutors and autonomy to the Anti Corruption Bureau, and effective powers to the Lok Ayukta. Special courts can on their own take cognizance of corruption involving public servants.

 

The amendment Bill says in its preamble, “Corruption is so deeply entrenched in the system that most people regard corruption as inevitable and any effort to fight it as futile. This cynicism is spreading so fast that it bodes ill for our democratic system itself.”

 

"In fact, there is no reason to believe that we, as a people, are more prone to corruption than any other culture or society. Wherever competition and choice have been institutionalized, and technology and transparency introduced, corruption has been reduced. What we need is political will, systemic improvement, and relentless and assured application of law" Dr.JP said.