Bring corporates under Lokpal to check graft: CVC

As the Lokpal debate rages, the CVC feels corporates should be brought under the purview of the proposed anti-corruption bill to check graft effectively.

New Delhi: As the Lokpal debate rages, the
Central Vigilance Commission feels corporates should be
brought under the purview of the proposed anti-corruption bill
to check graft effectively.

It also favours that corruption in higher levels of
bureaucracy and among political executives should be dealt
with by the Lokpal provided there is a proper demarcation of
work to avoid overlapping of powers with the CVC.

"Lokpal should cover corruption in higher bureaucracy and
among political executives. There may also be a provision, as
in UK bribery law, where a bribe giver is punished. We are
also not against bringing corporates under the purview of
Lokpal," Central Vigilance Commissioner Pradeep Kumar said.

At present CVC has no power to check corruption in
private firms. However, the Commission refers cases of
criminal conspiracy and corruption by government officials and
private persons to the CBI.

"Lokpal may investigate cases of corruption involving
political executives (ministers). In case they are found
involved in wrong doings then action against them should be
taken as per the law," he said.

Kumar, who took over the reins of country`s top
anti-graft body in July this year, cautioned that there should
not be complexity in exercising powers by Lokpal to avoid
delay in checking corruption.

"All civil servants are governed by departmental
punishment rules. The CVC, in some cases, may impose penalty
directly while it has to seek sanction for prosecution against
senior officials. The Lokpal may look into these aspects (and
simplify the process)," he said.

The CVC`s view may be conveyed to the Parliamentary
Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice for
Lokpal when the Commission appears before it.

The 31-member House panel, reconstituted a few days ago,
is likely to call the CVC either on September 23 or 24 after
the delay in its constitution resulted in cancelling the
Commission`s presentation twice -- on September 7 and 15.

Kumar wanted extension of the vigilance mechanism in
graft cases through speedy enquiries and prosecution

"The standard of proof (evidence) is lower in the
Prevention of Corruption Act, which is time consuming. There
is preponderance of probability. That is why there are a bulk
of cases going on in courts. Cases under the PC Act are
pending for over 10-15 years," the CVC said.

The Commission covers corruption involving central
government officials working in banks, public sector units and
other undertakings of the Government of India.

"There is a need for preventive and punitive vigilance
while dealing with corruption cases. We favour strengthening
of grievance redressal mechanism and law to ensure delivery
of service to public. There should be a citizen`s charter and
equal need to ensure strict adherence to it," Kumar said.


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