“Right from Prime Minister to Governors of States to many prominent leaders, holding high offices, have spoken about large-scale corruption in administration. The country certainly wants to know from them what has been done in this regard? But is there a determination among these leaders to fight corruption?”
This is what Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde asked while delivering a lecture on “Democracy at crossroads” during the inauguration of a State-wide year-long lecture and seminar series on 60 years of Indian Constitution organised by M.S. Krishnan Memorial Trust here on Sunday.
Elaborating on how corruption has crept into the three pillars of the democracy — the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary — shaking the very foundation of the democratic set-up, Mr. Hegde pointed how the law-makers have adopted dual stance in their words and action.
Referring to the speeches of Prime Ministers and other political heads who have expressed concern over growing instances of corruption, Mr. Hegde pointed out that despite these observations in their speeches, Parliament had, in December 2008, diluted the Prevention of Corruption Act through an amendment that virtually nullified the powers of prosecuting agencies, including the Lokayukta.
“The Union Government felt the need to have a special law to curb growing corruption in 1947 itself and hence codified the Prevention of Corruption Act as thecriminal provisions in the Indian Penal Code were found to be insufficient,” Mr. Hegde said.
“Did corruption come down from 1947 to December 2008 that the Government thought it fit to dilute it rather than making it more stringent,” Mr. Hegde asked the law-makers while pointing out that one expected the Government to come out with stricter anti-corruption laws in view of the tremendous increase in corruption and number of people involved in it.
‘For the people'
Referring to the role of the political and the bureaucratic executives, Mr. Hegde said the Constitution has given this dual executive system for a people-friendly administration, but the political executives have acquired excessive dominance by misusing the transaction of business rule.
On the other hand, the bureaucrats, who were expected to give true administration, have not only failed to resist dominance but also have submitted to the political dominance, sacrificing good governance.
Stating that transparency is a vital aspect of good administration, Mr. Hegde felt that apart from the Legislature and the Executive, people in the Judiciary too think that it is below their dignity to be transparent.