Appeal: All honest citizens, bureaucrats, and politicians are requested to support the following appeal for the appointment of Lokayukta in order to reduce the level of corruption in Delhi, which is on course to become the corruption capital of India. I sent this appeal to different authorities on October 29, 2021. The following text is also given below as a digital document.
Petition to LG Anil Baijal to Appoint Lokayukta in Delhi
To October 29, 2021
Mr. Anil Baijal
Lt. Governor (LG) of Delhi
Subject: Appeal to Appoint Lokayukta in Delhi
Copy to the following for urgent action:
Justice N. V. Ramana, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of India
Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose, Chairman, Lokpal of India
Mr. Suresh N Patel, Central Vigilance Commissioner, Central Vigilance Commission of India
Dear Mr. Anil Baijal,
I am a national award-winning journalist and founder of the humanitarian organization RMN Foundation in Delhi. Among other editorial and social projects, I undertake various anti-corruption activities and campaigns at the local as well as international level. These include The Integrity Bulletin news magazine which covers international corruption cases and anti-corruption initiatives to engage with different stakeholders who are trying to combat corruption.
For the past 4 years, I have also been running “Clean House” anti-corruption service which works as a community court to report about crime and corruption happening in Delhi’s cooperative group housing societies (CGHS). Additionally, for the past couple of years, I have been reporting about a citywide crime and corruption racket being run by local criminals, corrupt bureaucrats, members of judiciary, and builders’ mafia in Delhi.
In this case, I got some support from Lokpal of India, Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), and Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India, which have intervened and a corruption investigation has been initiated against some senior bureaucrats in Delhi.
However, the pace of investigation and prosecution is terribly slow while there are plenty of clerical hurdles to dissuade the complainant. In fact, the anti-corruption or investigating agencies ignore the accused and start harassing the complainant. As a result, the accused bureaucrats are enjoying full immunity and continuing their corrupt practices. Unfortunately, the entire administrative system is working to protect the corrupt officials. That’s why corruption is rampant in Delhi as it is in other parts of the country.
Today, India is being censured in all parts of the world for pervasive bureaucratic and political corruption in the country. For example, a recent report released by the U.S. Department of State has revealed that rampant corruption is happening at all levels of government in India.
The report released on March 30, 2021 covered corruption and human rights violations in India. It says that the law provides criminal penalties for corruption by government officials, but most government officials frequently engage in corrupt practices with impunity.
In addition to the U.S. State Department report, there are multiple global surveys which reveal that corruption is increasing rapidly in all parts of India. The U.S. report adds that corruption in India happens at different levels including the payment of bribes to expedite services, such as police protection, school admission, water supply, and government assistance.
Obviously, all the anti-corruption agencies in India are ineffective and exist as toothless outfits which have failed to eradicate corruption. While there is an urgent need to weed out corruption from the country, you can begin the process from Delhi.
APPOINTMENT AND WORK OF LOKAYUKTA
In order to deal with this corruption scourge, you need to appoint a competent Lokayukta in Delhi so that the local anti-corruption mechanism could run with agility to prosecute and convict corrupt politicians and Delhi Government officials.
Reports suggest that Delhi’s anti-corruption agency Lokayukta position has been lying vacant for the past almost one year – since December 2020 – and over 200 corruption cases are pending at the Lokayukta office. Out of these, more than 80 cases are against Delhi MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly).
While there are multiple complaints of corruption or misappropriation of public funds against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislators in Delhi, in 2019 the party decided to defy the notice from Lokayukta which had asked AAP MLAs to reveal the details of their assets. As AAP MLAs had dismissed the notice saying that these are politically motivated cases against them, the details of their assets were never revealed publicly.
Similarly, the Shunglu Committee which was set up to investigate the corruption of the AAP government did not yield any result. A former LG of Delhi, Najeeb Jung, had set up an expert committee – called the Shunglu Committee – to examine over 400 files for financial and administrative irregularities committed by Delhi Government headed by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
While the Shunglu Committee had submitted its report in November 2016, it is stated that the report has found serious cases of fraud, misuse of authority, cheating, and misappropriation of funds in Kejriwal’s government. But the entire case was brushed under the carpet and the findings of the report were not made public.
Since corrupt politicians and bureaucrats are not being held accountable and jailed for their acts of corruption, they believe that corruption is their fundamental right. If you properly investigate the corruption of just two offices – Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) of Delhi Government, you will find that there is a huge crowd of officials who are brazenly corrupt. In fact, if you have to imprison just the corrupt DDA and RCS officials, their number would be so large that you will have to build a separate jail for them.
Therefore, as the LG of Delhi, you must immediately appoint an honest and competent person to head the office of Lokayukta. This person should have an impeccable record along with adequate experience to investigate and prosecute cases of white-collar financial crimes such as corruption. A traditional bureaucrat or judge will not be the right official for the Lokayukta position. Also, the interview of the Lokayukta candidate by anti-corruption and legal experts should be live-streamed for people to know his / her competence in real-time.
Then the appointed Lokayukta should make a simple online complaint filing and monitoring system so that the complainants do not get troubled while filing the corruption complaints against politicians and bureaucrats. After finding the prima facie direct or circumstantial evidence against the accused, they should be immediately suspended from service before launching the prosecution against them.
During their prosecution, all communications with them should be publicly available on the Lokayukta website and hearings should be live-streamed so that the accused should not be able to say that the cases against them are false or politically motivated.
With these details, I urge you to appoint the Lokayukta immediately without wasting any more time.
Editor, RMN News Service [ Website ]
Founder, RMN Foundation [ Website ]
463, DPS Apts., Plot No. 16, Sector 4
Dwarka, Phase I, New Delhi 110 078, India
Mobile: 9810319059 | Contact by Email
The above appeal is also given below as a digital document.
Support RMN News Service for Independent Fearless Journalism
In today’s media world controlled by corporates and politicians, it is extremely difficult for independent editorial voices to survive. Raman Media Network (RMN) News Service has been maintaining editorial freedom and offering objective content for the past more than 12 years despite enormous pressures and extreme threats. In order to serve you fearlessly in this cut-throat world, RMN News Service urges you to support us financially with your donations. You may please click here and choose the amount that you want to donate. Thank You. Rakesh Raman, Editor, RMN News Service.