Most corrupt officials and politicians do not get punished and go scot-free because the anti-corruption laws are very weak in India.
By Rakesh Raman
While bureaucratic and political corruption is rampant in Delhi, new reports suggest that the office of Delhi’s Lokayukta has received 41 complaints of corruption against the legislators of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government headed by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. The complaints are against the AAP MLAs as well as ministers.
It is learnt from an RTI reply that in 2017 Delhi’s anti-corruption ombudsman received 11 complaints against ministers. The number is highest since 2008 when the figure was zero.
Most corrupt officials and politicians do not get punished and go scot-free because the anti-corruption laws are very weak in India. Police and law-enforcement officials are also not fully trained to handle white-collar crimes such as corruption.
While only circumstantial evidence (in terms of non-compliance of statutory procedures) should be enough to arrest and indict the accused in corruption cases, the anti-corruption departments carelessly dismiss corruption complaints with the excuse that the evidence was not sufficient against the accused.
According to an India Today report of January 14, 2019, there has also been a spike in allegations against corporators in the city’s three bigger civic bodies controlled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The report adds that the year 2018 saw 25 complaints, up from 13 the previous year. Since 2008, a total of 229 complaints have been received against MLAs, ministers, and bureaucrats of the Delhi Government – led by both Congress and AAP – and 172 of them have been disposed of.
There is a big government-led fraud in disposing of the corruption complaints. The government officials keep throwing complaints from one desk to another without taking any decision on the complaints. When the harassed complainants stop pursuing their complaints because of inordinate delays, the government fraudulently shows them as disposed of complaints.
Overall, according to the report, 1,360 complaints have been received in the last two years and 1,105 of them have been disposed of. The charges include those of corruption, nepotism, favoritism, misuse of power, and personal interest in government works or tenders.
The Lokayukta is a statutory authority to investigate charges or allegations of corruption or administrative inefficiency against ministers, lawmakers, and bureaucrats in the state.
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Earlier, a leading think tank Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) supported by a political watchdog Delhi Election Watch said that 23 (33%) of 70 AAP candidates – who were contesting Delhi election – had declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also creates and publishes a number of digital publications on different subjects.
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