Graft cases against babus on rise
India debates whether `babudom’ should come under Lokpal bill.
Pankaj Sharma/ Zee Research Group
As India debates whether ‘babudom’ should come under the purview of Lokpal, cases against them with the premier investigating agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are only growing by the day. As per government figures the share of government servants grew as a percentage of all cases registered with the CBI from 17.68 per cent in 2008 to 28.39 percent in 2011.
While the involvement of ‘aam aadmi’ in corruption cases has been falling, that of babus has shown a growth trajectory. In 2008 the percentage of government officers in corruption cases was 17.68 per cent which reached 22.44 per cent in 2009. However, going slightly downwards, it reduced to 19.72 percent in 2010 but picked up again in 2011 to reach 28.39 per cent until 30th June.
The government has been trying unsuccessfully to address the issue of corruption in public servants. To revamp the public administrative system, the government formed the Administrative Reforms Commission in 1966. Further, to reduce corruption in the country, second Administrative Reforms Commission was formed in 2005, under the chairmanship of former law minister Veerappa Moily.
However, a senior member of the second Administrative Reforms Commission argued for better implementation of its recommendations to ensure corruption among government servants reduced. V Ramachandran, member, second Administrative Reforms Commission, charged, “We gave several recommendations to improve governance in the country but the government did not implement many of them.”
In its fourth report (Ethics in Governance) submitted by the second Administrative Reforms Commission to the government in January 2007, the establishment of the institution of Lokpal was recommended. The commission was of the view that the Lokpal should be a three-member body. It also recommended that the Prime Minister’s conduct should also be scrutinized by the Lokpal.
Showing his displeasure over government response to commission’s recommendations, Ramachandran added, “Things could have been different if the government had followed the instructions completely. The current political crisis over the Lokpal Bill could have been avoided if the government processed the Bill three years ago as per our recommendations.”
In the last four years, a total of 3621 cases were registered against government officers and other persons with the CBI. Such cases were registered at 991 in 2008 but reached 1119 in 2009. In 2010 cases reduced mildly to 1009. In 2011 till 30th June, the CBI has already registered 502 cases.
In 2008, the percentage of cases registered against persons other than government servants stood at 52.86 per cent of all cases registered in CBI. It reduced to 39.15 per cent in 2009. In 2010, the involvement of others in corruption cases reached 44.67 per cent and in 2011 it further reduced to 41.97 per cent.
The disposal rate of CBI in corruption cases have also come down in recent years. In 2008, the disposal rate of CBI, which was 33.49 percent, reached 38.68 percent in 2009 and 41.39 percent in 2010. However, in the first half of the current year, only 25.62 percent of corruption cases have been solved by CBI.
However, while replying to a written question in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State in Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension, V Narayanswamy said, “No centralized data is maintained in respect of searches carried out by the CBI while conducting the investigations of cases.