Day 26 – Q 3.What are the various constitutional and statutory bodies constituted to address corruption in public life? How effective have these bodies been? Examine.
3. What are the various constitutional and statutory bodies constituted to address corruption in public life? How effective have these bodies been? Examine.
सार्वजनिक जीवन में भ्रष्टाचार को दूर करने के लिए कौन से संवैधानिक और वैधानिक निकाय गठित किए गए हैं? ये निकाय कितने प्रभावी रहे हैं? जांच। करें।
Corruption is a form of dishonest or unethical conduct by a person entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire personal benefit. Corruption has its own effect on its societies which undermines democracy, Rule of law and violates human rights and allows organized crime, terrorism and threats to human security. Even national progress is seriously hampered due to corruption.
Various bodies constituted for fighting corruption:
- Central Vigilance Commission: Apex vigilance institution, free of control from any executive authority, monitoring all vigilance activity under the Central Government and advising various authorities in Central Government organizations in planning, executing, reviewing and reforming their vigilance work. It is empowered to inquire into offences alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 by certain categories of public servants. Its annual report gives the details of the work done by the commission and points to systemic failures which lead to corruption in government departments..
- Lokpal and Lokayukta: They perform the function of an “ombudsman” and inquire into allegations of corruption against certain public functionaries and for related matters. Lokpal has powers of confiscation of assets, proceeds, receipts and benefits arisen or procured by means of corruption in special circumstances and power to recommend transfer or suspension of public servant connected with allegation of corruption.
- Central Information Commission: It is plays important role in maintaining transparency in system of governance essential for healthy democracy. Such kind of transparency check aims to curb corruption, nepotism, oppression and misuse or abuse of the authority.
- CAG: Comptroller and Auditor General is supreme constitutional audit authority of India. Comptroller and Auditor General is the ‘watchdog’ on each and every financial transaction of Central or State department such as railway, telecom, public sector, organizations etc.
- Election Commission: Supreme authority to conduct free and fair elections, prevent corrupt practices and infiltration of corruption into the representative foundation of India.
- Supreme Court: The Supreme Court of India is the highest judicial court and the final court of appeal under the Constitution of India, with the power of judicial review and ensure just law prevails.
Effectiveness of the bodies in preventing corruption:
- Legal measures taken: Prevention of Corruption Act, the Comptroller and Auditor General, the Judges (Inquiry) Act, the Lok Pal and Lok Ayukta Act 2013, Whistle Blowers Protection Act 2011, Prevention of Money /Laundering Act, Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act and most importantly the Right to Information Act. The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 was amended to empower the Income Tax authorities to attach and confiscate Benami properties. Besides, if a person is found guilty of offence of Benami transaction by the competent court, he shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment and shall also be liable to fine. Several Benami transactions have been identified since the coming into effect of the amended law.
- Election reforms: Cash donations-Recent amendments have reduced the limit on the cash donation to 2000 from the earlier 20000, thus restricting the inflow of anonymous black money into the funds of political parties. Disclosure norms-As earlier mandated by SC, politicians are required to make disclosure about their financial assets, education and criminal records thud helping the voters to make an informed choice and helping clean the politics of criminals
- The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) saw a dramatic drop in the total number of complaints received by it in 2017, keeping in line with the drop in actions by various government departments in cracking down on corruption.
- Many CAG reports were instrumental in unearthing major scams like 2G and coal mines.
What needs to be done?
- Various commissions such as SARC and Santhanam committee have made important and feasible recommendation to strengthen anti-corruption establishment.
- Reforms in bureaucracy: Establishing the Civil Service Board to curb the excessive political control over administration, Using the new technologies such as AI and big data to automate routine procedures in government such as issuance of certificates etc
- Electoral reforms: Barring the criminals from entering the legislatures by amending RPA and empowering ECI by giving legal force making paid news a criminal offence
- Changes in governance: Bringing Transparency of the Rules Act (TORA) as recommended by Economic survey to increase transparency and awareness about rules.
The causes of corruption in India include excessive regulations, complicated taxes and licensing systems, opaque bureaucracy and discretionary powers, monopoly by government controlled institutions on certain goods and services, delivery, and above all lack of transparency of laws and processes. Firm and strong steps are needed to curb the menace and impose regulations to take strong, deterrent, and timely legal action against the offenders, irrespective of their political influences or money power.