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Attempt to combat Corruption



GS 2 :Important Aspects of Governance Transparency & Accountability

In News

In a December 2022 decision — Neeraj Dutta v. State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi) — the Supreme Court took a hard stance against corruption among public workers in the country and lowered the burden of proof required to convict those accused of corruption.

• The Supreme Court has previously expressed this affliction that plagues our public administration in an equal measure on numerous occasions.

Supreme Court’s observations 

  • The Supreme Court dispels the fallacy that only unquestionable proof of guilt can lead to a conviction.

• The court has recently ruled that even if prosecution witnesses change their testimonies, a conviction would still be appropriate provided all circumstantial evidence gathered by the prosecution and presented to the court clearly establishes the guilt of the accused.

  • This is a significant step toward maintaining integrity in government services, particularly in the “higher” services like the Indian Administrative Service and Indian Police Service.

About Corruption 

• Abusing public power for one’s own benefit is referred to as corruption. An elected official, public servant, journalist, school administrator, or anybody in a position of authority can do it.

• In many States, the current state of affairs is so awful that no service to which a citizen is entitled as a fundamental right can be accessed without rubbing someone in the administrative or political hierarchy’s palms.

  • Jobs are frequently sold for a fee.

• Due to the severe unemployment, many applicants are willing to pay without complaining.

• It is impossible to get a building’s construction or a property’s registration approved without paying a bribe.

  • Several public employees implicated in this scheme blame the bribery on illegitimate and rapacious demands made by the political elite

Effects of Corruption 

  • Corruption has far-reaching effects that can jeopardise societal safety and security by undermining political, social, and economic stability.

• Because corrupt public officials enable criminals in their unlawful operations, corruption fosters an environment that is conducive to organised crime and even terrorism.

  • Corruption is now an international crime as a result of economic globalisation.
  • Companies may be vulnerable to bribes and other dishonest financial activities in the cutthroat world of international commerce.

• The poor and most vulnerable people are disproportionately affected by corruption, which raises expenses and restricts access to services like justice, health care, and education.

• Corruption in the purchase of medicines and medical supplies raises prices and may result in hazardous or subpar goods.

The human costs of fake medicines and vaccines on health outcomes and the long-term repercussions on children far outweigh the monetary costs. Corruption erodes confidence in the government and prevents investment, which has an adverse influence on growth and employment.

Measures to combat corruption in India 

The appointment of the Chairperson and Members has made the Lokpal institution active.

Under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, the Lokpal is legally required to receive and handle complaints about suspected offences against public employees.

• In 2018, the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, was revised.

o By imposing a vicarious liability on top management of commercial enterprises, it clearly criminalises the conduct of offering bribes and will help prevent high-profile corruption.

• Right To Information Act, 2005: The purpose of enacting this law was to encourage accountability and transparency in public authority operations.

• The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), through a number of orders and circulars, recommended that all organisations engaged in significant procurement activities adopt the Integrity Pact in order to ensure an effective and prompt investigation whenever any irregularity or misconduct is discovered.

Suggestions and Way Ahead 

  • The vision of a developed India would work if India had “zero tolerance” for corruption in the administrative ecosystem.

• Incentives and rewards must be given to entice people to develop a moral culture.

• It’s important to develop a compliance-friendly environment and effectively manage conflicts of interest.

• Doing the right thing even when no one is watching is the most fundamental step that must be taken to repel corruption.

• In order to be good citizens, we need strictly adhere to the rules established by the government.

Mains Practice Question 

[Q[In India, corruption is not restricted to sophisticated high-level scams. critically Examine the statement  and offer suggestions for improvement.

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