Abuse of public office has grown in scope, scale: SC

The abuse of public office for private gain has grown in scope and scale and has hit the country badly, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said, while expressing concern over the growing number of corruption cases.

PTI| Last Updated: Dec 17, 2013, 20:23 PM IST

New Delhi: The abuse of public office for private gain has grown in scope and scale and has hit the country badly, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said, while expressing concern over the growing number of corruption cases.

Echoing the larger public sentiments on corruption cases, the apex court said, "There has been concern over the need to ensure that the corridors of power remain untainted by corruption or nepotism and that there is optimum utilization of resources and funds for their intended purposes.

"The abuse of public office for private gain has grown in scope and scale and hit the nation badly. Corruption reduces revenue; it slows down economic activity and holds back economic growth. The biggest loss that may occur to the nation due to corruption is loss of confidence in the democracy and weakening of rule of law."

A bench headed by Justice R M Lodha said for successful functioning of democracy it is essential that public revenues are not defrauded and if it is done then the guilty must be brought to book.

"In 350 BC, Aristotle suggested in the `Politics` that to protect the treasury from being defrauded, let all money be issued openly in front of the whole city, and let copies of the accounts be deposited in various wards.

"What Aristotle said centuries back may not be practicable today but for successful working of the democracy it is essential that public revenues are not defrauded and public servants do not indulge in bribery and corruption and if they do, the allegations of corruption are inquired into fairly, properly and promptly and those who are guilty are brought to book," the bench said.