NEW DELHI

Sharad Yadav for special session on corruption



Gargi Parsai

Several prominent citizens voice concern



NEW DELHI: In the wake of the expulsion of 11 MPs for the cash-for-questions scam, several prominent citizens on Friday got together here to raise a banner against corruption. The 'samwad' (dialogue) initiated on 'Eradicating Corruption in making of New India' stressed the need for probity in public life.

While Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav called for a special session of Parliament to discuss the issue, former Chief Justice J.S. Verma stressed on transparency and accountability. Former Lok Sabha Speaker P.A. Sangma underscored the need for harnessing public opinion on probity in public life and senior journalist Kuldip Nayar said corruption was not a legal issue but a matter of morals and values.

Accountability

Stressing the need for power with accountability, Mr. Justice Verma said accountability must be comprehensive to include not only politicians, but also bureaucrats, judges and everyone vested with public power. Recognising the need for "accountability of the judiciary at every level," he said, "absence of any mechanism for enforcement of judicial accountability at the higher levels other than by process of impeachment in extreme cases was because no such need was visualised when the Constitution was framed. At that level, it was expected that settled norms and peer pressure were sufficient checks. However, there is now a felt need for effective mechanism, even for higher levels of judiciary, though it may be for rare aberrations only."

At the same time Mr. Justice Verma emphasised that care must be taken to preserve the independence of the judiciary and to ensure its separation from executive. Calling for looking into the reasons that generate corruption, Mr. Sangma said a consensus needed to be built. If the leadership is exemplary then the attitude tends to trickle down. Corruption began with the process of election itself.

Suggesting that the "dialogue" be taken forward in the form of a campaign, Mr. Nayar said it was high time the society started "boycotting" those who were proven corrupt.



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