GoM not for summary proceedings against babus

Last Updated: Monday, March 21, 2011 - 17:58

New Delhi: A proposal to amend law to
provide for summary trial of bureaucrats accused of "grave
misdemeanour" or "blatant corruption" has found little favour
with the Group of Ministers (GoM) set up to suggest measures
to tackle corruption.

The GoM, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee,
is of the view that there needs to be a proper "balance
between fundamental rights and administrative exigencies",
sources said.

The Group, which has met thrice so far, is of the
opinion that amendment to Article 311 of the Constitution to
provide for summary proceedings against bureaucrats would not
be the best option, the sources said.

Amendment to Article 311 was one of the seven terms of
reference of the GoM, which was to give its report by March 6
but has been given an extension.

There were suggestions in the GoM that public servants
accused of corruption should be give a chance in person to
present his or her case.

But the eight-member panel is yet to take a final
decision on the issue.

Article 311 of the Constitution is meant to protect
government servants against arbitrary dismissal and
punishment.

The agenda to amend the article was included in the
terms of reference of the GoM as there was a strong view that
Article 311, meant to act as a shield for honest employees,
has now become a hindrance in the fight against corruption.

The GoM was set up in the backdrop of a plan of action
outlined by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in December to tackle
corruption in the face of a series of scams hitting the
government.

The other members of the panel are Agriculture
Minister, Sharad Pawar, HRD Minister, Kapil Sibal, Law Minister,
M Veerappa Moily, Railway Minister, Mamata Banerjee and
Chemicals Minister, MK Alagiri.

PTI



First Published: Monday, March 21, 2011 - 17:58

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