Comprehensive, systemic reform needed: CPI(M)

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Wednesday underscored that only a comprehensive systemic reform can effectively curb corruption, and the establishment of an effective Lokpal institution was one such measure.

“The battle against corruption, in order to be effective today, can be achieved only through a comprehensive reform of our political, legal, administrative and judicial systems and not through one-off or piece-meal measures. The establishment of an effective Lokpal institution is one such measure. This needs to be complemented by other measures,” the party said in a note placed at the all-party meeting convened by the Prime Minister on the issue.

Other reforms

Besides setting up an independent Lokpal, the CPI(M) said measures to strengthen the legal and administrative framework against corruption were required. These included the setting up of a National Judicial Commission to bring the conduct of judiciary under its purview; law to protect the citizens charter for redress of public grievances; Amendment to Article 105 of the Constitution to bring MPs under anti-corruption scrutiny; electoral reforms to check money power in elections; setting up of Lok Ayuktas in the States to cover all public servants at the State-level; and steps to unearth black money and confiscate funds illegally stashed away in tax havens.

It said the institution of Ombudsman had provided avenues, in many countries, to redress public grievances on corruption and abuse of public office.

The party also outlined the functions of the Lokpal, the process of selection and composition of the institution, its jurisdiction including the office of Prime Minister, and how Lok Ayuktas should be set up in States on the the lines of Lokpal, protection of whistle-blowers and tackling big-business-public servant nexus.

“Serious crime”

In the wake of successive scams over the past few years, corruption had become a major public concern. Pillage of public resources through corruption was a crime of a serious nature, considering that even now the country had millions of people suffering acute poverty, hunger and lack of socio-economic opportunities.

In addition, corruption was also impeding economic development since accumulation of ill-gotten wealth was increasing the inequalities.

The party said that while corruption in high places had been a feature of the Indian political system for many decades, in the post-liberalisation period it had emerged as a dominant trend due to the “thorough distortion” in policy-making at the highest levels of government.

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Printable version | Nov 20, 2021 2:52:43 PM |

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