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Talk on Corruption - Justice Hegde

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26 Mar 2011 10:30
Asia/Calcutta
Governance

 Date :  March 26, 2011

Time :  10:30 AM

Venue: Bharateeya Vidya Bhavan, Race cource Road

Topic  : Corruption

Speaker : Santosh Hegde

The start time is 10:30 / 11:00

Likely duration 1hr 30Min

Comments

k n g rao's picture

justice Hegde's work is

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justice Hegde's work is really commendable     He is a oneman army.Mr Moily had to cut a sorry figure

The worst part is that there no drop in corruption. Apunishment to thebribe giver should be thought of.

Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

Who is corrupt?

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 I am not sure this post suits here.

What I mean by "people" is general public, what I mean by "I" is "people" which includes me. But I want to declare that I am corrupt, and I am sure 95% of "people" corrupt. . I am not looking into causes which made me corrupt now, may be later. Here are many incidences which I induldged in corruption, and I am sure many people did. I did all these things just because no one can catch me (except my heart/soul). (Mind : This is not a posting just to aggrevate someones feelings/emotions, just what I do to "save" money/effort/time, not for me but for my next generations! I am busy in just saving money throughout life. )

1) I paid (huge and unjustified) school/capitation fees without getting reciept for capitation fees, just because that is a prestigious school and its my prestige issue. I did not bother even how is my money is spent by school.

2) I registered my site/apartmment much lower price than what I paid, just because it saved me registration fees which is quite huge. 

3) I ran my electric pump in my village for hours together just because it was not metered by government as goodwill/support for farmers.

4) I just through garbage in a "free" site nearby in night time so that nobody can catch me. Meanwhile if someone throws trash, I am first to complain.

5) I give some officials bribe so that I get things easily. Sometimes my work involves little "adjustment" in government records. Oh, why do you call it bribe? Its just expression of gratitude of officer who "helped" me. Am I not a gentleman/lady who cant even show gratitude? Afterall that person also a human being and family man with a low(??)salary !

6) I take help of my driving school instructor to get a license. How can I know all the traffic rules, I am simple person.

7) I will pay for water tankers for water, who will fight with BWSSB just to get ONE tanker of water. Afterall tanker driver also a family man, I need to support him by giving him/his boss business.

8) Many times, I will submit a fake medical bill to office (private company) to save some tax. By giving me fake what medical shop is going to loose? Afterall they have special bill books, meant for people like me, right? Same case with my travel bills too. Who will bother to verify the bills which I got from abroad?

10) I do a lots of shopping, but I dont insist on reciepts, because bluntly shopkeeper says "13.5% you have to pay extra sir/madam". Why to waste my hard earned money just because of this silly reciept?

11) I pay my engineer's/architect's bills only by cash. Just because, if I make bank transaction, I will have to pay service tax right? Further, he/she will have to pay IT on that right? Afterall he is engineer who built my dream home, so nice guy. I cant do bad for him/myself. 

My list is much more than this. But some items really shameful to mention, but I want to save not for me but for future generation.

So I am NOT attending this session, as I am NOT worthy at the moment to suggest anything. Rather, I will watch proceedings/outcome of event from a distance and will try to improve myself first. I know how hard it is...

 End quote : Kannada proverb-> ಒಂದು ಬೆರಳು ಇನ್ನೊಬ್ಬ್ರರನ್ನು ತೋರಿಸಿದರೆ, ಇನ್ನೊಂದು ಬೆರಳು ನನ್ನನ್ನೇ ತೋರಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. (If one fingure points others, another fingure points at myself)

" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
psaram42's picture

We are all corrupt one time or the other without exception.

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 The word Corruption in general parlance refers to immorality, perversion and dishonesty. In computer industry corruption of a system halts the computer for good. So also in governance there is a need to keep it clean. Corruption in governance can lead to revolt and break down of the system of governance eventually, when exceeding the limit of general suffering in the society as a whole.   

Greed over need is a good way to look at corruption in governance [as opposed to moral] issues. Every individual need is good food, Clothing, health both physical and mental, and a roof over the head. There is no limit to greed. 

In every system of governance is it Monarchy, oligarchic, or even Democracy; greed over need is the spoil sport. Even in animal world there are specific rules of conduct. For example tigers mark their territory by their urine. Every street in Bangalore has a dog leader who ensures that no new dog breaks in. 

Giving / taking Capitation fee without receipt is an offence. The offence is non payment of tax due to government. It is possible to alleviate this misery with good governance by enforcing and verifying compliance by regular / surprise and impartial audit. Both the parties should be chastened. [Now can we tweak the existing law to make only one party bribe taker or giver punishable as the case may be?] 

Enforcement is weak because the general moral standards are low in a society over and above the need part. Let us decide what we would like our society to be where every bodies need are taken care of at the first place. 

Governance is about making laws, enforcing them properly and punishing the guilty in time every time. Remember every body is naked inside their clothes. 

murali772's picture

taker largely to blame

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A public servant who takes the bribe is the gate keeper who violates his responsibility and sells the property he is supposed to protect. “Since bribery is not a case of theft but of collaboration between two agents, the primary moral responsibility for it rests on the shoulder of the bribe taker,” says Mr Kaushik Basu, Chief Economic Advisor to the GoI.

For the full report in the Business Standard, and debate thereof, click here

@ Bheema  -  there's no need at all for any self-flagellation. If the system is what it is, it is the government and its officials who are responsible for it all. Our crime lies in allowing the wrong kind of people to get elected, and also not keeping a check on the ones elected.

Muralidhar Rao
Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

@Murali

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 Our crime lies in allowing the wrong kind of people to get elected, and also not keeping a check on the ones elected.

 

Do we have right people on board during elections? I see just-out-of-jail/mafia people seeking votes. Anyway, its far away from topic of this thread. We will leave it here. 

" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
dvsquare's picture

@Bheema, you have your own DDC as the example

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Hey Bheema,

You have the very our own DDC as the leading example. What we want to do there is to follow rules, signals and drive in a disciplined fashion the roads. Similar is about the politics and government. Lets make full effort in 100% voting first, keep check on the people we are voting and change next time if needed, so they feel afraid of common people all the time. And, at the same time, definitely as the number of voters getting closer to 100%, you will also see number of honest and educated people participating in politics. Its all about 2 things -

(1) Be the change you wish to see.

(2) Graudually drop-by-drop you can fill the vessel.

Deepak

Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

@parasam42

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 ...Giving / taking Capitation fee without receipt is an offence...

Fully agreed. However, they will never say it as Capitation. Some institutes will say the money will go to charity(??) and will reach poor ultimately via their charity/trust. While a chairty should take only take money from public on their wish, I see its forced via education institutes during admissions. All of us know, most of private institutes are run by so called Trusts/Academies/Missions/Religious Orgs/Samithis/Socities have some undocumented/illegal routes to the money taken.  I am not pointing any specific ones here..

" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
idontspam's picture

Inheritance

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   just what I do to "save" money/effort/time, not for me but for my next generations! I am busy in just saving money throughout life

This reminds me someone posted on inheritance tax, cant find it now. How I wish we support that campaign. It is a potential game changer. Imagine if 60% of the thousands of crores hoarded up by the people (wherever in the world) goes back into the public coffers. We can build metro underground many times over. 

silkboard's picture

gyaan from psaram

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waah waah.

Governance is about making laws, enforcing them properly and punishing the guilty in time every time. Remember every body is naked inside their clothes.

so PSA sir, looking at this comment, and few others elsewhere, looks like you think readers here don't have that basic gyaan that you are doling out. Whats next!?

Is Justice Hegde style one-man show, focused only on bribe takers the way? Has Karnataka become any less corrupt than it was before Mr Hegde took over? I am only asking, not judging Lokayukta's office. At the end of the day, his office is the same as that of CM's - there are no real goals set, and then met, its only about activities.

Now, may be that is why Mr Hegde is promoting a new act now. However, with tons of laws already in place, anyone who thinks that just one more magic legislation will fix it all has to do a lot of convincing.

idontspam's picture

Found it

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In our country today we see the serious ill effects of unbridled inheritance. It is the root cause of all and every corruption that aims to accumulate wealth, because the corrupt know that the wealth will be passed on to the next generation, who shall hugely benefit from its compounded value and who in turn, shall add to the kitty and compound it ever more.

source 

sanjayv's picture

Is a new law required

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Now, may be that is why Mr Hegde is promoting a new act now. However, with with tons of laws already in place, anyone who thinks that just one more magic legislation will fix it all has to do a lot of convincing

Like in most practical situations, especially with complex problems, there are no magic silver bullet solutions.  However, it is folly to say that good legislation will not give tools that will help us in the direction of reducing corruption.  Many places (even the India Against Corruption website for example) have discussed the short comings of the existing anti corruption setup and prevention of corruption laws.  Murali sir pointed to the Kaushik Basu analysis pointing out that holding the bribe taker and giver equally guilty actually incentivizes hiding the crime. Currently, it does not appear that prosecuting a corrupt government officisal is even possible because of the way the laws are written.  Plus I suspect a big key key is in how these "service" rules are written for our public servants. 

After reading the Jan Lok pal bill and the arguments made by the proponents, they certainly have a case, IMHO.  The proposed bill may not be perfect, but surely it can be tweaked and improved while respecting the broad principles of the attempt?

psaram42's picture

An unfair uninformed criticism

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 @SB 

Is Justice Hegde style one-man show, focused only on bribe takers the way? Has Karnataka become any less corrupt than it was before Mr Hegde took over? 

It is an unfair uninformed criticism.  

idontspam's picture

 Sice corruption is a

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 Sice corruption is a manifestation of degradation in moral standards, thought I should share the following which came in a mail forward. Its not verified for accuracy but serves as a contrast to how some parts of humanity are better off for the planet than the rest of the riff raff like us.

10 things to learn from japan


 1. THE CALM

Not a single visual of chest-beating or wild grief. Sorrow itself has been elevated.

2. THE DIGNITY

Disciplined queues for water and groceries. Not a rough word or a crude gesture.

3. THE ABILITY

The incredible architects, for instance. Buildings swayed but didn't fall.

4. THE GRACE

People bought only what they needed for the present, so everybody could get something.

5. THE ORDER

No looting in shops. No honking and no overtaking on the roads. Just understanding.

6. THE SACRIFICE

Fifty workers stayed back to pump sea water in the N-reactors. How will they ever be repaid?

7. THE TENDERNESS

Restaurants cut prices. An unguarded ATM is left alone. The strong cared for the weak.

8. THE TRAINING

The old and the children, everyone knew exactly what to do. And they did just that.

9. THE MEDIA

They showed magnificent restraint in the bulletins. No silly reporters. Only calm reportage.

10. THE CONSCIENCE

When the power went off in a store, people put things back on the shelves and left quietly

abidpqa's picture

More sophisticated methods of

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More sophisticated methods of proving corruption like wiretaps, electronic tracing of currency notes should be implemented. One sided law like making only the taker guilty may be counterproductive. Those who come forward as government witness should be protected with less punishment and other methods to protect the witness.

Some people think they have the birth right on the wealth of the country. They dont feel guilty to take bribes or give bribes when they lack skills,

There should be better conflict of interest laws, like they declare their wealth the legislators and bureaucrats should declare the conflict of interest in their decisions.

There are so many avenues in intraprivate sector dealings for corruption, in awarding contracts, inspection of work, payments etc., which are being exploited.

silkboard's picture

not uninformed

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PSA sir, please don't see this is criticism of Justice Hegde, but as far as I can see it, we have an arguably more corrupt chief minister, the bribe rates for land registration and khata has only gone up, unelected and unaccountable bodies like BDA are still running our city, half the corporators are still seen to be Goondas, a corrupt neta is again most likely to become an MLA at Channapatna, many new 6 floor buildings with basement dedicated for storage and not parking are still coming up on a major road near my house, so on and so forth.

Please do not measure Lokayukta's impact by number of newspaper articles or number of high profile people that have been tainted. Measure it by the impact it has had on YOU.

It must be more than a coincidence that the states we know and see to be amongst the most corrupt and ill-governed - Orissa (71?), Rajasthan (72), Bihar (73), UP (77) - were amongst the first to create offices of Lokayukta.

dvsquare's picture

The problem is powerless Lokayukta

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The problem is that Lokayukta has no powers, in every other interview Mr. Hegde says that he investigates stuff, find out the culprit and advise government to suspend and punish that offcial. But what Government does it, suspend for sometime, and reinstate that official again. This is what Mr. Hegde is very irritated about. He has said it multiple times specially for the BBMP official involved in that wall collapse accident, he was reinstated. Government doesn't want to punish its officials and that's where Mr. Santosh Hegde is all behind CM and its ministers.

Deepak

silkboard's picture

more "power" to Lokayukta is no guarantee

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DVS, a "powerful" lokayukta may or may not help.

  • There is no guarantee that the next lokayukta will not be a corrupt person himself or herself
  • Once given more power, a single powerful office will be flooded with complaints. Sooner or later, what case to pick first and what to go slow on will be left to the discretion of lokayukta

The issue with our current Lokayukta (a very inspiring and honest person himself, please don't see this as a criticism of Mr Hegde) might be precisely that:

... all behind CM and its ministers.

The focus may have shifted from "lok" to "sarkar", or rather, from "institutions" to "personalities". I don't  care as much about the CM and ministers as I do about the BBMP / BESCOM / BDA / BMRDA / Police guys who I interact with on a regular basis. Do you? We don't live in a kingdom, where just bringing down the king will usher in a new regime.

Looks like a lot of people want to "by pass" the broken things as opposed to fixing them (Pending police reforms, taking RTI act forward, Transparency in Political Party finances, Right to service Act, curbing large size cash transactions etc).

idontspam's picture

Some personal viewpoints

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  1. Systemically all organizations that fight corruption today are under the influence of the govt. It is not acceptable that the government polices itself, it has not worked. Other options that people tout has also not worked.
  2. It is not possible to expect that everybody who stands for election or even get elected will be clean. There arent even clean options to vote and people are having to refrain from voting. If people knew there was checks & balances after the election then they wouldnt worry that the unclean option has gone in. The election process is a one way street and because of the level of human development is easy to give lower level freebies & bribe oneself into office. Once in office one has the influence to put the people he/she wants to enable looting because there arent independent agencies to monitor
  3. Majority of India's populace vote on basic necessities because of the level of development. It is not possible to expect that they will vote on corruption issues or even bother after election as long as they get their free rice. They are more busy chasing bread & butter and need other people higher up in the food chain to help them fight this. THe civil ociety needs to take up the gauntlet on their behalf. Its a misconception that they dont represent people they have proven there are people backing them on this issue as seen in the last few days.
  4. People are not asking to legislate but participate in writing the bill to ensure it doesnt get voted toothless and again land up as a useless law. It is a misconception that the parliment is being bypassed, the bill will be passed in parliament only civil society should be allowed to draft the bill and participate in the discussion. THis argument is a red herring.
  5. I personally do not want lokpal to go into technicalities like tendering process etc. unless the bypassing of the same has proven to contribute to personal wealth. I want the bill to only ensure that public money doesnt go into private pockets.
  6. Lokpal may not be a magic bulet but the current options also are not. Lokpal has better percentages of delivering than the current setup. 
  7. Current judiciary is overloaded, lokpal will free up valuable time from the judiaciary allowing them to focus on disputes & clearing up backog. Lokpal can become a corruption focussed judiciary.
  8. People who point out why the lok ayuktas havent worked need to remember this is exactly why they need to be made independent from political control. How do you expect Santosh Hegde type will come out when nominations are being made by the politicians? They will put who they will not harm them.
  9. There are no garuntees in life, lets say the bill does become useless what have we got to lose? Corruption was not yesterday, it has only reached a flashpoint now as the thiefs have gotten bolder. Since we have left other agencies toothless but still want to pin our hopes on them, at least we will know we dont want to take steps to rid our country of corruption
 
Agencies like ICAC is a fine example. Do read up on them if you get a chance. 
 
DO you have the courage today to complain to the police against politicians & powerful people?  Are you worried of being knocked off by revengeful mafia? DO you really think the current institutions will take up your complaint on significant issues? Heck even a complaint against a cop taking bribe is useless
dvsquare's picture

Its like judges or courts in India

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We might have no faith in our government when it comes to supreme court, we have seen they are giving good judgements from sometime and also critizing government when required. So, the more power with lokayukta means that they don't have to just advise, they can as well punish the guilty as Courts do. If we see the current corrupted people, the case just goes on and on and they sit and relax in more comfortable and AC rooms in hospitals, take the case of Raja or Ramalinga Raju or anybody like that. And still we don't have any proper rules right now to bring back the money they looted. That's where the lokayukta with some powere can be helpful. And that's where 50:50 partnership can help us, just like PPP model infrastructures work happen. We still see problems in current PPP model, where there is a participation from public but nothing implemented. When Lokayukta gets more power, I see a balance of everything, these activists will make sure that govt doesn't have a loophole created in the draft so they can getrid of, and govt people will make sure that it will still be democratic.

I know, the government is not going to accept the bill as it is and hence good negotiation will guranteed of lesser loopholes and still democratic methods. That's where my hope is, because right now, how much we talk about democracy or whatever, but the problem is, common man is frustated and irritated and angry at its most, so in this situation, we can't much talk about right and wrong, these situations had to handled very sensitively. That's why its being called Freedom Struggle, because people are really frustated of all the corruption. Some just see it from the 100-200 Rs bribe and we at Praja also look at the other kinds of corruptions or potential corruption also, officials  want to bring in metro or HSRL and avoiding CRS, because they know there is nothing much to eat from CRS, but HSRL can give them a lot of currency notes to eat. Its as simple as that.

Deepak

begeprasad's picture

The focus may have shifted

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The focus may have shifted from "lok" to "sarkar", or rather, from "institutions" to "personalities". I don't  care as much about the CM and ministers as I do about the BBMP / BESCOM / BDA / BMRDA / Police guys who I interact with on a regular basis. Do you? We don't live in a kingdom, where just bringing down the king will usher in a new regime.

 

You are right SB. But at the same time, a honest person at the helm of affairs will definitely try and bring about a change. Dont you think so?

Very well said idontspam.  There are no garuntees in life but let's at least give this a try, which, I feel, will difinitely brings about a change.(Or I hope it does, as does so many people who are out on streets supporting Anna Hazare)

Guru

psaram42's picture

Impact assessment of a toothless Lokaukta

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@SB

My life is no better in spite of this Lokaukta takes over. In fact Corruption has increased after present Lokaukta has taken over. There are so many ills in our states governance. Why is the present Lokaukta who is so in efficient, still in the news?  Why a new bill is being touted?

Even the new bill is not a magic wand to irradiate all the ills of our state and the country. I think it is only an experiment to rein in the corruption monster, till we set our entire house right in all respects. Corruption is one of the diseases of a country which needs to be cured in a hurry.

The more corrupt a state is, more it feels the importance of a Lokaukta [who is any way toothless]

kbsyed61's picture

Absolute power corrupts absolutely!

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"Absolute power corrupts aboslutely", that is the saying in realm of public governance.

I think the civil society is getting blinded by the high decibels for calls to powerfull lokayukta, lokpal and supreme court. In that call all are getting drunked to demand for encating a law by passing the formal institutions and the law makers. One can understand the cynacism for such call given the slew of scams and maha scams. But to demand alternate way of governance bypassing the existing mechanisms is certainly a danger to the Idea of India, democracy.

India as country progressed is because it put itself on governance by the constitution and its institutions. Followed with that, over the years the able and detrmined executive strengthened the institutions of democracy, Election commission, High Courts and Supreme Courts, RBI etc. we need to just look at the evolution of Election Commission since 70s.

SB has said it right that mere having a strong lok pal institution will not eradicate Corruption. If that was the case, In Karnataka we should have "ZERO" corruption given the existance of Lok Auykta and Justice Hegde at its healm of affairs? Has it decreased?

The solution to fighting corruption is to fix the fixables that SB mentions. Insn't the priority also to fix the Pending police reforms, taking RTI act forward, Transparency in Political Party finances, Right to service Act, curbing large size cash transactions etc.

begeprasad's picture

This seems to be a dead lock

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This seems to be a dead lock to me.

 

Insn't the priority also to fix the Pending police reforms, taking RTI act forward, Transparency in Political Party finances, Right to service Act, curbing large size cash transactions etc.

 

Yes these points are very valid and they touch upon a majority of people on a daily basis. But who's going to make all this happen? 

Again we have to look upon our politicians to get all this done. Who howeve,r have chosen not to do anything but make money for themselves. And they very well know that there's nobody on earth who can touch them.

Through Lokpal one hopes that they at least have fear about indulging in taking tax payer's money for a ride. And when they have nothing much to do, at least lets hope that they carry on with the real "social work" for what we have sent them up there. I read somewhere in one of the other posts where SB says that "now at least people have this fear about police catching hold of drunken driving people" This is exactly what I feel will do to the politicians.

And yes nobody can think that Lokpal will bring about a change once and for all. No, but this should be just the beginning.

Guru

Guru

idontspam's picture

misconceptions

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But to demand alternate way of governance bypassing the existing mechanisms is certainly a danger to the Idea of India, democracy.

Lokpal does not govern. It investigates & prosecutes. By extension Judiciary must cease to exist as they also prosecute. Nowadays judiciary is doing the job of governing actually.

 In Karnataka we should have "ZERO" corruption given the existance of Lok Auykta

"Existance" of an organization doesnt garuntee outcomes, enabling it to "function" will. Can lokayukta today prosecute guilty? How many recommendations to prosecute the guilty have been executed by the govt? No wonder the inaction by the elected govt has been blamed on the lokayukta.

What the govt will do left to itself is create a lokpal which will only "exist", obviously that will not even eliminate flies within its office. 

sanjayv's picture

Jan Lokpal Bill is just a proposed step

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By no strech of imagination is a Jan Lokpal bill going to be a magic bullet solution.  Preventing corruption has many aspects.  The Lok Pal bill only addresses the "enforcement" arm of things.  The Jan Lok Pal Bill is another version proposed by some people which arguably is better than the Lok pal Bill.  Ideally, our existing arms of government should have enough checks and balances to keep corruption under control.  Is it happening? No!  So what is a policy measure (action) we can take to fix this?

The institution of a Lok Pal was proposed by several wise people studying the problem on several occassions - read here.  So let us enact it the proper way and give it a chance.  All the comparisons to Karnataka Lokayukta not reducing corruption holds no water.  The shortcoming of the Karnataka Lokayukta as an institution have been discussed extensively.  So the next step should be to try to tweak it or scrap the institution.  Tweaking is what has been suggested. 

The real demand is that we should have a proper discussion  with involvement from civil society to formulate a mechanism with a fighting chance of making a difference.  I think our attitude should be that the other bills (police reform, or right to service bill etc,) are also additional priorities.  A focus on lok pal now does not mean the other identified items are all not worth it.

 

 

 

 

kbsyed61's picture

Yeddyjoins the Hazare bandwagon!

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Not to be left behind, Karnataka CM has joined the bandwagon of support for Jan Lokpal bill. http://ibnlive.in.com/news/yeddyurappa-supports-hazares-antigraft-stir/148666-37-64.html

BSY should first strengthened the Lokayukta before he takes a pot shot at others? What a hypocracy? Can't blame him? Blame is at civil society who votes for such people and who do not vote.

 

 

idontspam's picture

Lets see who we vote

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Lets see who we vote, Yeddy, Reddy, Gowdas, Congress... I am trying to find Mr Clean here, Even if we found that needle in the haystack and you were the campaign manager for that needle, I want you to chalk out a communication strategy that will get him the votes. Lets take a fresh party like Loksatta & see if you can get a clean person into power. Not possible I tell you till there is a grass root movement on issue based voting. Oh wait we just wish & want the clean person to win & not have to deal with these practicalities of changing voter mindset etc.

dvsquare's picture

Lokayukta has atleast made those hidden corruption visible

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Hi,

I very well agree at one point that, by all these, we are very much going away from democracy, but the problem today is that people are frustated very much, they got a feeling from our choosen leaders - "Now we have become leaders, if you want to suggest something in the current system, suggest us, we will get back to you and do what is best for us, not for you.".

We should just take it an idea towards lesser corruption, it has awakened a lot of people, a few of which might think twice before giving/taking bribe, and lets give it also a shot. may be, it goes fruitful. Lets hope for the best.

And, the second thing is, its not going only in hands of public, it will be 50:50 partnership, so, public side people will make sure that politicians do whatever is good for public and good or better ministers (other 50%) will make sure that they still stick to democracy. Isn't it a bigger view of what we currently have as PPP model?

"In Karnataka we should have "ZERO" corruption given the existance of Lok Auykta and Justice Hegde at its healm of affairs? Has it decreased?"

One thing I would like to strongly mention that, Lokayukta has no powers, they just advise and govt doesn't act. Hegde is very much frustated that government doesn't punish any of the caught officials, so how would we lessen corruption in India.

Secondly, people have said that Corruption has increased since Lokayukta has come in power, but its not like this, Its just that we are able to see corruption coming to light because Lokayukta is investigating the ministers and bringing it to the public, otherwise we would have not even known of the scams yet, and we were living in pseudo-non-corruption state.

I hope, I made myself clear.

Deepak

silkboard's picture

sanjayv, IDS - replies

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First of all, guys please, Long live Anna Hazare. All I want to say is that Lokapl/Lokayukta Bills are no magic bullets, don't carry that false hope. And all of us seem to agree on that.

Lokpal bill could be that start and spark. What other things do we need to campaign and fast for? Many answers are in that long point by point comment from IDS above.

Point #1/#6/#8, A 'perfect' Lokpal bill is now  on its way (Anna got it for us).

Point #2

... It is not possible to expect that everybody who stands for election or even get elected will be clean. ...

Some checks on Political Party finances, and mandate to have political parties have internal democracy first.

Point #3

... THe civil ociety needs to take up the gauntlet on their behalf.

"Civil society" needs to join political parties. If getting in and cleaning up an existing party is too hard a job (and we know that we all, the "civil society" like to keep our hands clean), there is Lok Satta.

Point #5

tendering process .... the bypassing of the same has proven to contribute to personal wealth. I want the bill to only ensure that public money doesnt go into private pockets.

Proactive disclosure of RTI, mandatory transparency in tender approval and payment process, more bandwidth for CAG, and more teeth to state level auditors.

Point #7

Current judiciary is overloaded,

So why would you not fix the root cause? Via more bandwidth for judiciary? Judicial Reform proposals exist, Mr Moily got one underway as well.

Also IDS, about

Heck even a complaint against a cop taking bribe is useles

want to ask if you have ever actually complained against a cop taking bribe (he asked first). I am guessing no. But yep, the point is taken, And the answer is in the pending Police Reforms proposals (Soli Sorabjee committee).

So to conclude, there are 8-9 other burning things that IMHO are larger in implications than Lokpal/Lokayukta bills. Interestingly enough, two of these on which nothing concrete is in the works, both have to do with political parties - internal democracy and their finances, and "civil society" joining political parties.

To complete the "anti-corruption" tool kit wish list, one would add 2-3 more things like, Right to Service like act, strong deterrents on the payer side of Bribes, and curbing large hard cash transactions (Question: why on earth do people ever withdraw large sums of money in cash or drafts? Answer - land transactions, most of the time).

kbsyed61's picture

Indian Graft League!

murali772's picture

desperate times call for desperate measures

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Quote by Sri Pratap Bhanu Mehta in the Indian Express:

The morality of fasting unto death for a political cause in a constitutional democracy has always been a tricky issue. There is something deeply coercive about fasting unto death. When it is tied to an unparalleled moral eminence, as it is in the case of Anna Hazare, it amounts to blackmail. There may be circumstances, where the tyranny of government is so oppressive, or the moral cause at stake so vital that some such method of protest is called for. But in a functioning constitutional democracy, not having one’s preferred institutional solution to a problem accepted, does not constitute a sufficient reason for the exercise of such coercive moral power. This is not the place to debate when a fast-unto-death is appropriate. But B.R. Ambedkar was surely right, in one of his greatest speeches, to warn that recourse to such methods was opening up a democracy to the “grammar of anarchy”.

For the full text, click here

My response to this highly quoted article would be:

The question is do we need a LokPal at all. Apparently, everyone has recognised the need for it. In fact, the need for it has been recognised some 40 years back. And, with the kind of scams we have had recently, it has become imperative now. But, since the LokPal becomes a check on the law makers themselves, they have deliberately been stalling it. And, even in states like Karnataka where the LokAyukta has been instituted, they have been made toothless. So, the effort needs to be to provide some teeth to it. How much more teeth has possibly to be still agreed upon.

And, on the question of Anna Hazare resorting to fasting as a tool - well, what else one do when the corrupt appear to have co-opted a person of the stature of Dr Manmohan Singh and made him a tool.
 

Muralidhar Rao
kbsyed61's picture

Hypocracy of Media, India Inc, Bollywood!

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Seems everybody is joining the bandwagon for fight against corruption. Our media, Corporate India, Lawyers, bollywood actors have found a wonderfull opportunity to be in lime light.

Media from roof top claims that it is the flag bearer of this C-fight. But with hand on their hearts can they say that they do not indulge in corruption in individual or in institutional capacity? Are they ethical in all their dealings with govt and politicians? Moving forward will they come forward and pledge to India that from today they would not facilitate corruption in any manner either be tax evasions, bribes, unethical gratifications?

Corporate India, how it contributes to corruption is well documented and narrated nicely in the Bangalore Mirror's article. Even today, would coroporate India stands up and commit that starting today either individually or inistitution they run would not ever practice unethical ways to garner or save money otherwise would have belonged to the Government.?

Bollywood, do not pretend to be pure as white. Ask yourselves and introspect whether all these years were you played by the rules, paid due taxes, accounting every money that was recieved and ensuring the money invested was legal? it is not too late, isn't the time for you also to stand up and practice "No to Corruption" whatever form it may, Taxes, Black money, permits, gratifications and every thing that matters?

The question is also to each one of us? Will we promise to our nation that we will stand up against the culture of "mamool", "Coffee/Tea", %percentage etc.

kbsyed61's picture

IDS, solution should be systemic, not individual centric!

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IDS,

For once our thoughts doesn't seem to cross each other. When I said it is dangerous for democracy, I was alluding to fact that the policy making should evolve into a well oil machine. Civil Society/Public participation augers well for our democracy, but it is prudent to ask is this the way to do it? Already there are dissenting voices against the inclusion of father and Son duo as the civil society representatives. Now what about your's and my ideas? Isn't Praja voices more qualified along with other voices?

The point being isn't time to use this golden opportunity to institute the mechanism to have the public participation in future policy making process? Otherwise it is like BSY's discretionary powers to distribute the largess. It is not illegal, but immoral, in the words chief of party with difference.

In fact lets use this opportunity to see if there can be discussion on how to involve the public, civil society in policy making, including how and how would qualify to run shoulders with public representatives.

pathykv's picture

Paid News

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The most important corruption indulged in by the media is PAID NEWS.

K.V.Pathy

idontspam's picture

???

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mandate to have political parties have internal democracy first.
??? - whats internal democracy got to do with corruption? 
 
"Civil society" needs to join a political party. 
This is like saying there should be no last compartment in a train since its hard to get to. There will be civil society even if the civil society joins politics, you cant wish them away.
 
and more teeth to state level auditors.
what is this teeth? Why should it be given to auditors when we hate it being given to lokpal/ayukta?
 
So why would you not fix the root cause? Via more bandwidth for judiciary? 
This is bandwidth for judiciary. dont like the word lokpal? pick a name. How about judiciary II
 
 And the answer is in the pending Police Reforms proposals
Yes, for police... how will it address politicians? How about babus? seperate bill?
silkboard's picture

Easy IDS, Murali

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There is no opposition for Lokpal or Lokpal bill, looks like you are seeing everything from that lens. Cheers to you if you think LP/LA bills are the magic bullets, and these other important connected things in the works are not worth fasting for.

Big chunk of public money that is looted goes to fund political parties. The money power many mention ("can't take on the political parties da") comes from this source. Next, if you or I want to work through the ladder in a political party (to, say become a treasurer, or ask for a ticket), it doesn't happen democratically - sure you know that. These two are the key reasons "civicl society" or anyone in between "civil society" and politicians doesn't consider joining the political process.

About police reforms, please do read around on Soli Sorabjee co's proposals. Freeing police from Neta's clutches, and providing people ways to complaint against police are two things that act provides.

"Delaying justice", and "delaying access to information" are two more tools in the hands of those who practice corruption. Google "Judicial Reforms India", and "proactive disclosure RTI" to understand how these could be fixed.

[PS: post-edited and solf moderated the comment]

idontspam's picture

Point 6

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Cheers to you if you think LP/LA bills are the magic bullets

Point #6 :)

sanjayv's picture

Reforms

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I will venture to comment that pretty much every setup in our government is in need of reform and tweaking, be it judiciary or police or any other thing.  The beauty of our system is that somehow we spend years... no... decades talking about things but implementation of changes is minimal or non existent.

In the real world, all ideation and analysis only works to a point.  Eventually, it is time to implement few things and see if the change is for the better.  As a society, we are inclined and well trained in gaming the system. So eventually people will work out loopholes. Then time for more tweaking or redoing the processes.  Our biggest problem is that stuff mostly gets talked about, but not implemented.

How to change that?  A fast for every issue is not the answer.

idontspam's picture

  Big chunk of public money

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Big chunk of public money that is looted goes to fund political parties. 

Why do they need so much money? because they want to bribe people & pay for votes. Going rate in Tamil Nadu is R6500/vote. EC is cracking down hard and conducting checks via commandoes. My car got checked & videotaped over the weekend at a highway checkpost (no, they didnt find anything). So what do the parties do? garuntee freebies post election. That way after election EC wont have a say, the bribing & looting can take over. Stalin was heard saying over the weekend on TV how DMK has delivered freebies garunteed after coming to power. They recognize EC cant do anything post election & there is no authority to police them. In the villages people are being made to swear in the name of god that they will vote in the certain parties favour. 

What are the other parties doing? Not focusing on issues, but running around raiding money units, liquor joints, catching ruling party violating EC norms. R30 crores was found last week, the money has been abandoned with nobody claiming it. This is the campaign. Note in all this, issues are nowhere in the picture! Its all like a business transaction, what goodies I give you in return for votes. Now tell me where you start & end in this election process. How will anything you do to change this process?

Anna Hazare's was quoted over the weekend as saying he will lose deposit if he contested elections. Lost in the out-of-context quote was what he said afterwards. That voter awareness & maturity on issue based voting was lacking in the country, they vote on immediate gratification & consumerism, that is not something he can do. You want to wait for 70% of the country to get higher up maslows pyramid to fix corruption?   

 Next, if you or I want to work through the ladder in a political party  

You or I getting in is no garuntee we will not abuse the process if we know there is no questioning us post elections. Which is why a neutral cop who are not put by politicians alone is required      

 "Delaying justice", and "delaying access to information" are two more tools in the hands of those who practice corruption    

And I am not sure how much the lokpal bill will get into this but definitely I feel there is a case for Lokpal to take away corruption cases & free the judiciary of the workload they have. Any case which involves misappropriation of public funds for personal gain should be routed to lokpal who should have the same powers as the judiciary of the country. I am told that speedy prosecution is going to be proscribed in the bill. If yes this should take care of the convictions.   

srinidhi's picture

Gandhi too wud have been corrupt..

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says ex CM Kumaraswamy..here

At least hes not being hypocritical in atleast some parts of his speech..his claims of himself being 'clean' undo's everything he had said earlier on his assessment of the current situation!

But that is what it is..corruption has setin the rot of the whole system..not just politico..enforcements can only work to certain levels..but its more a change within which will surely fix the system!

kbsyed61's picture

Should we fast-unto-Death for CRS?

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Now that the Jantar Mantar happenings have shown the way how to force govt for the 'cause', should we at Praja also should adopt such methods for projects like 'Namma Railu'?

dvsquare's picture

Good idea, atleast it would give some media and public attention

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Fast unto death is the last resort, or we don't need that yet. What can be done is to held a few awareness ralies etc and then a few protests against not-doing anything about CRS. It would help in a way that people (common-man) will be aware of an alternate or potential-alternate way of commute in cheaper fare and lesser time and lesser traffic-congestion.

CRS will get some media attention and that would help us make Bangalore people aware that CRS is something which can be or should be done asap as a good commuting way. It would also help in preventing force widening of roads.

And slowly we can get more public support and force government gradually to take up CRS seriously.

We can also show people why govt is showing no interest in CRS, while Metro and HSRL are all yes-yes. We can show people that its not a competitor to BMTC or Metro, but its a need of the hour atleast now. We can show people that its high time now that govt should do something about this so old proposal for the actual long term traffic planning instead of govt current resorting to all the short-term planning like road-widening, flyovers etc.

Deepak

idontspam's picture

Show up

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It will be good if people can show up for the train ride this weekend. Experience the comfort of traffic free daily commute on a train. You will frankly be stunned at the places it covers & the necessity to upgrade the trains & make it more frequent. See you all on the YH1 train this saturday! COnfrm on this thread

murali772's picture

want a volunteer? :)))

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Muralidhar Rao
psaram42's picture

Out of place comments

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IMHO

These comments could be better in compatible threads [CRS]

  1. Should we fast unto death for CRS
  2. Good Idea at leat it will give at least it would get some media attension
  3. Show up

Also the whole discussion needs to be shifted to

Anti corruption meet at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan a report

kbsyed61's picture

Sudden discovery of virtues in Karnataka Lokayukta Act?

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Is my worst fears becoming true? Lately Justice Hegde is finding lot of solace in Karnataka's current Lok Ayukta Act. If one goes by the TOI article "The Jan Lokpal Bill should be modelled on the lines of the Karnataka Lokayukta Act.", seems Justice Hegde has no issues with the current except for some tweaks here and there.

Justice Hegde said the state Act has all the necessary elements to ensure success in the nation's fight against corruption. Justice Hegde told TOI that one or two amendments are needed for the Karnataka Lokayukta Act to make it 100% effective but those can be incorporated in the proposed Jan Lokpal Bill.

Is this just a posturing or indication towards the Final Mining report that will be submitted by end of this month?

dvsquare's picture

Read the next continuing statement

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This is what Hegde has said after that line in the same link -

"Of utmost importance is that investigative findings of the Lokayukta are made actionable and investigation and prosecution should remain insulated from political influences,'' Justice Hegde pointed out.

Mr. Hegde has been always pointing out this as the major flaw in the Karnataka Lokayukta in bringing down the corruption, and that's what he mentioned in the above statement. He always complains about the non-action of the government and also about powerless Lokayukta when it comes to take the action on the culprit.

Deepak

silkboard's picture

IDS - about justice/info delayed

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IDS, I wrote: "Delaying justice", and "delaying access to information" are two more tools in the hands of those who practice corruption."

While what you say is fine:

Any case which involves misappropriation of public funds for personal gain should be routed to lokpal

How about a practical example of how delay in justice/information aids those who practice corruption? Lets say you bought land in a village. You manage to register it with minimal or no bribes. Now its time to get the "phahani", and you refuse to pay the Tahsildar/Accountant. You may even complain to the Lokayukta.

Since you never actually paid the bribe, and Tahsildar's never directly asked you for a bribe (its via their partner brokers, or "accountants"), you and Lokayukta will have a good time nailing the tahsildar.

Now, while the case is on, and even fast tracked, someone could enter "wrong" information for the land you bought. A broker may show up with forged papers for the same land you bought. Or, a hostile owner of adjoining land who is a friend of Tahsildar or the Broker would claim a part of your land.

When complaints against Tahsildars and village accountats of Karnataka pile up, we will see how a single office of Lokayukta will deal with the flood, that's one matter. Regardless, in parallel, without ready access to land records, and slow movement of your land-dispute case in the district and high courts could keep you busy for at least 1 or 2 years.

In theory yes, if Lokayukta has the powers, can take action against guilty Tahsildar in 3 months or less each time you complain, all the Tahslidars get the fear of God, and every person (from the typist to the uplokayukta) working in office of Lokayukta will be as paavan and pure as Justice Hegde himself, people may slowly stop hreatening you with land-dispute cases. But in reality, the snail-like speed of "regular" judiciary would become the lifeline for the corrupt while "powerful" offices of Lokayukta(s) take shape, build a huge backlog of cases, and become slow like the regular judiciary itself.

Find and read news items like these "Irregularities in pahani highlighted, The Hindu". Such things rarely make their way to english newspapers.

idontspam's picture

Since you never actually paid

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Since you never actually paid the bribe

Why is this even an example of corruption? This is not corruption, its denial of service. I can give you lots of examples of denial of service. BMTC not providing a timetable is a DoS in my book should I take this to lokayukta? While I am trying to linkonly  corruption in public offices to Lokpal/ayukta, these examples are linking every failed democratic process to Lokpal/ayukta

Post election in public office there is a category called "assetts disproportionate to known sources of income". This is the category it should address, courts are loaded with this type and it is too widespread to be left to current systems to handle. The alleged A Raja, Madhu Koda, Reddy types. Even here Lokpal/Ayukta can identify but can not take it to conviction. or even make the govt prosecute them. This "making" the outcome happen is what is being pushed by civil society.

The country cannot afford 2G scam type agitations & parleys on every case, the smaller ones will go off the hook. This is equivelant of asking or a CRS in totality vs conducting rail roko for every train & every station stop that we do now. Systemic solution.

This goes back to why Lokpal/ayukta is not a magic bullet and thinking lokpal will solve all problems in life including but not limited to plumbing in our house is a red herring. Lokpal is simply asking for more powers & independence while the powers that be are trying to dilute it as much as possible. Its a negotiation on how to get the best out of the existing loose self policing scenario which has been left to lie for 63 years and leading to the current rot. This negotiation cannot be done by arms of the govt.

You cant negotiate with yourself to punish yourself. 

Even the current election in TN has called the bluff on people claiming elections will solve the problem. Go thru the noncorrupt options we have on the table and let me know how many years it will take to clean up. Latest is an Independent in Trichy (yes somebody without party hangovers, internal democracy etc) promising Nano to voters. Arent thousands of Nano's going to come from assets disproportionate to known sources post election, if he ever attempts to fulfill? 

HDK mirrors the attitude best when he made the statement on corruption. DO you really think it is curable by more people voting when the system doesnt allow them to? How will you make people vote on issues? When parties differentiate themselves on not actually delivering bribe money to voters but on the issues. 

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