Anti Corruption

Corruption

Corruption is a universal phenomena. No society is free from it. In

 

India

 

administrative and political corruption no longer surprises us. It has become a normal thing, apart of our administrative and political culture. It is observed about Indian bureaucracy that “……… from bottom to the top level a vicious ring operates and every functionary in the service demands a price, where major agreements, projects and contracts have to be executed, invariable commission is today the unwritten convention.”

 

There was a time when only a few corrupt IAS officers could be identified. Now, sadly, only a few honest, upright persons with integrity can be spotted in the large cadre of IAS officers. There are coverage’s in newspapers everyday about official involved in bribery, kickbacks and scams which are quite disheartening. Corruption is so well-embedded as a part of every that life itself, that no one’s eyebrows would ever get raised on the issues.

 

In short, corruption means deliberate and intentional exploitation of one’s position, status or resources, directly or indirectly, for personal aggrandizement, whether it be in terms of material gain or enhancement of power, prestige or terms of material gain or enhancement of power, prestige or influence beyond what is legitimate or sanctioned by commonly accepted norms to the detriment or the interest of other persons or the community as a whole.

 

Corruption in India

 

Since 1991, economic liberalization in

 

India

 

has reduced red tape and bureaucracy, supported the transition towards a market economy and transformed the economy, with record growth rates of 9.2 % in 2007 and 9.6% in 2006. However, though the Indian Economy has become the 6th largest in the world, its growth has been uneven across social and economic groups, with section of society experiencing some of the highest levels of poverty in the world. Endemic corruption contributes to this uneven distribution of wealth. The cost of corruption, perceptible in public sector inefficiencies and inadequate infrastructure, is undermining efforts to reduce poverty and promote sustainable growth.

 

Area of Corruption

 

Major Corruption scandals

 

Major scandals involving high level public officials have shaken the Indian public service in recent years, with politicians and public servants regularly caught accepting bribes or mismanaging public resources. This suggests corruption has become a pervasive aspect of Indian politics and bureaucracy. A report by Global Integrity provides an overview of the major corruption scandals that have hit the headlines over the past years.

 

Forms of Corruption

 

Most reports and studies highlight that the country continues to face major governance challenges. There is a lack of transparency in governance rules, procedures are complicated and the bureaucracy enjoys broad discretionary power.

 

The country is further characterized by rigid bureaucratic structures, an exclusivist process of decision-making, overly centralized government, poorly-paid civil servants and the absence of effective internal control mechanisms.

 

Political corruption and corruption scandals involving high ranking officials and ministers from time to time strike the headlines, discouragement the authority of democratic procedure and citizens’ trust in public institutions.

 

91% of the reported bribe demands were requested by a government official, including 33 % from national level official, 30% from the police, and 16% from state or provincial official.

 

77 % of the reports described bribe demands made for avoiding harm rather than for gaining an advantage. Of those, more than 51% were for the timely delivery of services to which the individual was already entitled, such as clearing customs or getting a telephone connection.

 

Only 12 % of the reported bribe demands were for gaining ad advantage.

 

Bureaucratic corruption

 

These findings confirm the prevalence of the bureaucratic and administrative forms of corruption that take place at the implementation end of politics, where the public meets public officials. Bureaucratic corruption pervades the Indian administrative system with widespread practices of bribery, partiality, and misuse of official positions and resources.

 

Political Corruption

 

The public trust in democratic processes in

 

India

 

is seriously undermined by solid financing of electoral processes, widespread bribery and other forms of corrupt practices. Politicians are regularly involved in major corruption scandals, investigations are rare and very few politician and civil servants have been convicted.

 

Circumstantial evidence confirms that practices such as buying votes with brines or promises.

 

The entry of criminals into politics – despite laws requiring public disclosure of candidates’ assests criminal records and education backgrounds – is another alarming facet of political corruption in

 

India

 

. According to The Economist, more than a fifth of federal parliament members in 2008 faced criminal charges. Of the 522 members of

 

India

 

’s currents parliament, 120 are facing criminal charges; around 40 of these are accused of serious crimes, including murder and rape.

 

It has become a tradition and routine that every paper or file that is maintained by the Government is marked ‘secret’ and ‘confidential’; no part of it is accessible as a matter of right to the public.

 

A general myth has been created that every official document/file is an official secret.

 

Many of the scams which are taking place every day are facilitated by and are possible only because of the lack of transparency of these official dealings or lack of information about these in the public domain.

 

Licenses and public utilities.

 

Corruption also effects access to public utilities such as water, phone and electricity. Compared to the 2006 edition of the Global Corruption also affects access to public utilities and departments have fared worse in terms of public perception of corruption in 2007.

 

Procedures surrounding access to water and electricity are complicated and cumbersome and firms may be tempted to make facilitation payments to speed up the process. Close to 40% of the World Bank Enterprise survey reported paying bribes to get an electrical connection and 27% to get a water connection. According to the Global Corruption Report 2008, citizen believe that corruption is on the rise in these sectors.

 

Tax and customs administration

 

52.3% of the firms covered by the World Bank Enterprise survey reported being to give gifts in meetings with tax official. In this sector, rules and procedures are extremely cumbersome; giving tax official wide discretionary powers to interpret the rules. Some are suspected of intentionally stalling administrative procedures to provoke facilitation payments. Bribes may be paid for an under assessment of income or to obtain penalty reductions or tax refunds.

 

The police force

 

The TI-India corruption survey ranks the police as the most corrupt public service in

 

India

 

– with 80% of citizens believing that corruption exists in the police force and Many people believing it is on the rise. Below poverty line households who interacted with the police claimed to have paid a bribe while few people used a contact to access police service. Many of them claimed that procedural delays were part of a deliberate strategy to compel citizens to pay bribes. About half of them paid a bribe for ensuring that their complaint could be registered.

 

Examples: The study reveals that truck drivers must pay bribes at every stage of their operation, mostly to police forces, to obtain permits, for traffic violations or toll payments. When transporting goods across the country, stoppages by authorities on the pretext of checking documents are frequent. According to truck drivers, 60 % of the checkpoints and forced stoppages on roads are for extorting money.

 

As the police- along with the courts – are the public institutions most directly involved in sanctioning and punishing corrupt practices, police corruption seriously undermines the government’s anti- corruption efforts.

 

Judicial corruption

 

The Indian court system consists of a Supreme Court, High Courts at state level and subordinate courts at district and local level. According to the Global Corruption Report 2007, the upper judiciary is considered relatively clean, with open court proceedings and free access to prosecution documents, authenticated orders, etc. In the lower justice institutions, corruption is reportedly rampant and systemic.

 

TI India CMS study’s respondents perceive the judiciary as corrupt 47% claim to have paid bribes to lawyers or court officials.

 

Court procedures are very slow and complicated, and the court system is severely backlogged and understaffed. This results in delays in the processing of cases, and a loss of confidence in the law and in the justice system. (Freedom House 2008 estimates that there are currently 30 million civil and criminal cases pending). There is also a high level of discretion in the processing of paper work during trials and multiple points where court officials can misuse their power with impunity. In such contexts, people are tempted to resort to bribes, favors, hospitality or gifts not only to obtain a favorable decision but to move the case through the system and speed up the court proceedings.

 

The weakness of the judiciary, the lack of political independence of the police and poor law enforcement contribute to a culture of impunity where few politician or civil servants are indicated or convicted for corruption.

 

Anti-Corruption Efforts in

 

India

 

. India

 

’s performance on the 2007 Global Integrity Index indicates a huge gap between anti-corruption policies and practice. The legal and institutional framework to curb corruption is well developed and the country receives high scores in terms of anti-corruption law and institutions. An analysis was conducted by Transparency India in 2007 to identify possible gaps between the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the legal and institutional framework in the place in the country. The report confirmed the good quality, with existing legislation in line with most of the requirements of the UNCAC. The largest- and almost only- Substantial gap was identified by the report in the area of whistleblower protection.

 

Overview of Corruption in

 

India

 

Law enforcement, however, remains weak, suggesting a lack of political will to effectively address corruption challenges in the country.

 

The Legal Framework

 

The 1988 Prevention of Corruption Act criminalizes corruption in the public and private sectors in the form of active and passive bribery, extortion, bribery of foreign officials, abuse of office and money laundering. There is also a 2002 Prevention of Money Laundering Act (Amended in 2005). At the local level state Government have state laws that address specific aspects of corruption.

 

The 2005 Right to information (RTI) Act represents one of the country’s most critical achievements in the fight against corruption in recent years. Under the provision of the Act, any citizen may request information from a “public authority” which is required to reply expeditiously or within 30 days. The Act also requires every public authority to computerize their records for wide dissemination and to proactively publish certain categories of information for easy citizen access. This act provides citizens with a mechanism to control public spending. In the first year of National RTI, 42876 (not yet official) applications for information were filed to central (i.e. Federal) public authorities. According to the Central Information Commission, RTI applications have annually increased by 8 to 10 times annually. Less than 5 % of the million applications for information have been denied information under various exemption categories.

 

India

 

does not have a law to protect whistleblowers. However, following the murder in 2003 of Sri Satyendra Dubey, who exposed corruption in the National Highway Authority, the Government faced increased pressure to ensure whistleblower protection and issued a resolution known as the Public Interest Disclose Resolution (PIDR). This resolution authorized the “Designated Agency’ to receive written complaints for disclosure on any allegation of corruption or misuse of office and to recommend appropriate action. The CVC can take action anyone who leaks the names of whistleblowers and witnesses and may request police assistance to investigate complaints. The Central Bureau of investigation also has an online complaints mechanism which guarantees the protection of whistleblowers reporting corruption cases. The Global Integrity Report 2007 estimates that the resolution has logged over 1300 complaints in the three years of its existence. However, the CVC reported that over 30 whistleblowers have been harassed in spite of the confidentiality of PIDR complaints.

 

The Global Integrity Report further mention that important pieces of anti-corruption legislation have been pending for years, including the Corrupt Public Servant Bill and the Lok Pal Bill, which is supposed to address corruption in high offices, including the office of the Prime Minster. The Judge Inquiry Bill- Which was designed to introduce an inquiry mechanism for allegations and complaints against members of the judiciary – and the Election Commission’s recommendation to debar candidates with a criminal background from parliamentary or State Assembly elections have been held up for years.

 

In terms of International norms,

 

India

 

endorsed the ADB-OECD Anti-Corruption Action Plan in 2001, and has signed but not yet ratified the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

 

The Institutional Framework

 

There are various bodies in place for implementing anti- Corruption policies and raising awareness on corruption issues. At the federal level, key institutions include the Supreme Court, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Office of the Controller & Auditor general (C&AG), and the Chief Information Commission (CIC). At the State level, local anti-corruption bureau have been set up, such as the Anti-Corruption Bureau of Maharashtra.

 

The Supreme Court has taken a stronger stance against corruption in recent years, as confirmed by the Bertelsmann Foundation Report 2008. It has challenged the powers of States in several instances. For Example, in 2007 in Uttar Pradesh, it challenged the state governor’s powers to pardon politically connected individuals based on arbitrary considerations. In other instances, judges have taken on a stronger role in responding and environmental issues. In December 2006, in a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors do not need prior permission to begin proceeding against politicians facing corruption charges. It has also started addressing corruption in the police by mandating the establishment of a police commission to look into these matters and has ruled that corrupt officers can be prosecuted without government consent.

 

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has the power to undertake inquiries or investigations of transactions involving certain categories of public servants. It also has supervisory power over the Central Bureau of Investigations. The CVC can investigate complaints against high level public officials at the central level, in cases where they are suspected of having committed an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The CVC is mandated to investigate public sector corruption at the federal level and not at the state level.

 

If we wish to confine corruption to the criminal class alone, we have to increase the risks and costs for an official to be corrupt. This is not possible by increasing legal penalties. Corruption must generate such a substantial loss of social status that it makes any monetary gain look insignificant and trivial. Such a loss of social status will be possible when people have faith that the rules of civil society deserve to be criticized. When corrupt officials are identified and boycotted by all, we shall be able to strike at the root of corruption.

 

We can complaint against the corruption with the help of CVC. Can lodge a complaint with CVC, here is some points how to lodge a complaint with CVC, modes of complaint, complaint’s process and email id for complaint.

 

The CVC welcomes complaints from the general public on any corruption issue. In fact, this forms main source of information.

 

The CVC does not accept complaints which are anonymous/pseudonymous in nature (see instruction No.3(v)/99/2 dated 29.6.99). The signed complaints can be sent through post, fax or can be handed over personally. In fact, one can lodge a complaint through the CVC Website also.

 

Complaints on corruption can be lodged with the Central Bureau of Investigation, Chief Vigilance Officers of the concerned Department/Organisation or the Head of the Department/ Organisation also.

 

The Fight against corruption cannot be started, let alone won, without the active meaningful support of the public at large. The Central Vigilance Commission invites the co-operation of all right thinking people in their effort to eliminate this scourge. Any member of the public can lodge a complaint with the Central Vigilance Commission of those relating to malpractices, misconduct or corruption in public services relating to officials of Central Government Ministries, Departments, Public Sector Undertakings, Nationalized Banks, Insurance Companies, Financial Institutions, other Corporations and Societies established by or under any Central Act, Government companies, societies and other local authorities, owned or controlled by the Central Government may be sent directly to the Central Vigilance Commission. All complaints sent by post to the Commission have to be signed and should contain the name and address of the complainant.

 

Complaints processed in the CVC

 

If a complaint involves contacting persons other than those employed in the department or collecting documents in private possession, the Commission asks the CBI to investigate and send report. Allegations which are only administrative in nature are sent for appropriate action to the department concerned. On receipt of the investigation report by the CBI, after considering the views of the concerned departments, the Commission tenders appropriate advice.

 

Procedure to lodge a complaint through e-mail

 

The Commission invites complaints through e-mail also. If you want to lodge a complaint against any public servant who fall within the jurisdiction of the Commission, all you have to do is to key in the following information at the following E-mail address:vigilance@hub.nic.in

 

Human Rights

 

In the preamble to the United Nation Charter, the people of the United Nations declare their determination “to save succeeding generation from the scourge of war, reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom”. Accordingly, Article 1 of the Charter proclaims that on of the purposes of the United Nations is to achieve international cooperation in promoting and encouraging respect for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.

 

One of the first major achievements of the United Nations in the field of human rights was the adoption of the universal Declaration of Human rights by the general assembly on December 10m 1948. Each year, the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration, December 10, is observed internationally as Human Rights Day.

 

Articles 1 and 2 of the Declaration state that “all human beings are born equal in dignity and rights” and are entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the Declaration without distinction of any kind such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

 

Articles 3 to 21 set forth the civil and political rights to which all human beings are entitled, including the right to life, liberty and security: freedom from slavery and servitude: freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment the right to recognition as a person before the law: the right to judicial remedy: freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention or exile; the right to a fair trial and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal; the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty; freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention or exile; the right to a fair trial and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal; the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty freedom from arbitrary interference with privacy, family home or correspondence; freedom a\from attacks upon honor and reputation; the right to protection of the law against such attacks; freedom of movement; the right of asylum; the right to a nationality; the right to marry and to found a family; the right to own property; freedom of thought, conscience and religion; freedom of opinion and expression; the right to peaceful assembly and association; the right to take part in government and to equal access to public service.

 

Articles 22 to 27 set forth the economic, social and cultural rights to which all human beings are entitled, including the right ot social security; the right to work; the right to equal pay for equal work; the right to form and join trade unions; the right to rest and leisure; the right to a standard of living adequate for health and well-being; the right to education; the right to participate in the culture life of the community.

 

The concluding Articles, 28 to 30, recognize that everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the human rights set forth in the Declaration may be fully realized; that these rights may only be limited for the sole purpose of securing recognition and respect of the right and freedoms of others; and that each person has duties to the community in which she or he lives.

 

Following adoption of the Universal Declaration, work began on the drafting of two international Covenants on Human Rights- One on economic, social and cultural rights and the other on civil and political rights- to put into binding legal form the rights proclaimed in the Declaration.

 

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Optional Protocol to the latterly on December 16, 1966. These instruments, along with the Declaration itself and a second Optional Protocol adopted in 1989, make up what is now widely known as the International Bill of Human Rights.

 

Set up by ECOSOC in 1946, the Commission on Human Rights is responsible for submitting proposals, recommendations and investigative reports on human rights issues through ECOSOC to the General Assembly. Over a period of time, the Commission has grown to be the prevailing human rights organ of the United Nations, providing a forum for states, intergovernmental and non-governmental organization to voice their concerns about human rights issues. Made up of 53 Member States elected for three-years terms, the Commission meets for six weeks each year in

 

Geneva

 

. Twenty years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations commemorated the occasion by declaring 1968 as the International Year for Human Rights. The major event of the year was the International Conference on Human Rights in Teheran, which adopted a programmed of action and a Proclamation.

 

Twenty-five Year the Teheran Conference, the 1993 World Conference in

 

Vienna

 

marked a significant step forward in the attempt by the international community to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedom everywhere. The Vienna Declaration and Programme of action, emanating from the Conference, represents the basis for common future efforts the basis for common future efforts by the international community for the universal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

 

The Conference was marked by an unprecedented degree of participation by Governments, United Nations agencies and bodes, national institutions and 841 non governmental organizations (NGOs) The Vienna Declaration and Programme of action was adopted by consensus by 171 States, and endorsed by the General Assembly in December 1993. The Assembly called for further action to fully implement the recommendations of the conference.

 

The Conference’s achievements include recommending the establishment of a High Commissioner for Human Rights; reinforcement of the universality of human rights; recognition for the first time, by consensus, that the right to development is an inalienable right; integration of economic, social and cultural rights as indivisible and interlinked with civil and political rights; recognition of democracy as human right, thus opening the way to the strengthening and promotion of democracy, democratization and the rule of law; recognition that the acts, methods and practices of terrorism aim at the destruction of human rights; and reinforcement of policies and programmes to eliminate racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance.

 

Despite the work of United Nations, there continues to be massive and widespread violations of human rights. Five decades after th universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted, violations across the broad spectrum of human rights continue to dominate news from around the world. At least part of this can be attributed to the heightened awareness of human rights and stepped-up monitoring of problem abuses that until only recently were considered acceptable behaviors by traditional standers. Human rights are increasingly becoming part of the the daily operations of the UN in the field. The vigorous action of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and steps taken to enhance cooperation and coordination among UN partners are expressions of the concrete efforts to strengthen the ability of the human rights system.

 

As for Indian scenario, after independence we framed our Constitution and system of administration. Most of the human rights listed in the universal Declaration of Human Rights are incorporated in Part III or our constitution. According to this part, all laws inconsistent with fundamental rights are void and the fundamental rights are enforceable in courts of law. Some important rights of Indian citizens are- right to equality (Article 14-18) rights to freedom (Article 19-22) right against exploitation (Article 23-24), right to freedom of religion (Article 25-28), cultural and education rights, protecting the interests of minorities (Article 29-30). Our Constitution also incorporates a vast range of political, social, economic, cultural and religious rights. Special provisions are made to protect scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other weaker sections of society. Unsociability is banned. Primary education is free for all. Thus

 

India

 

has recognized that

 

India

 

has recognized that human rights and democracy are inseparable.

 

Indian citizens are becoming conscious of their rights now and are demanding and end to all kinds of exploitation. A number of human rights organizations have come up to safeguard the interest of all human beings.