Govt to enact US-style False Claims Law: CEC

Last Updated: Saturday, July 7, 2012 - 21:52

Hyderabad: The government is working towards enacting a US-style legislation--False Claims Law--that will enable citizens to sue contractors working on public projects who inflate prices and deliver inferior quality services.

The move follows a recommendation by the Central Vigilance Commission to empower citizens to fight corruption.

"We have recommended enactment of a False Claims Law that aims to empower citizens to fight corruption," Chief Vigilance Commissioner Pradeep Kumar said here today.

Under this, any citizen can seek punishment and recovery of money from any contractor who charges extra money from the Government and delivers less than the contracted quality or quantity of goods and services. The government is working in this direction," Kumar said addressing the 9th anniversary of Vigilance Study Circle.

Kumar said a host of Governance reforms, which were long overdue, were being introduced in India now. "I am very optimistic that these important reforms, when implemented, would result in a paradigm shift in the approach towards fighting corruption and also improve governance", he said.

Stating corruption has been in the mainstream of public debate in the last two years, Kumar said, it has fuelled public anger along with other factors like economic downturn and rising inflation.
"While it cannot be said definitely whether corruption has increased, the negative perception about corruption in India has certainly increased. Though the situation may seem grim, let us not go home with the impression that nothing or very little is being done."

An Act to regulate delivery of public services was being legislated, which would go a long way in curbing petty corruption, the former IAS officer said.

He also referred to the proposed Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials Bill, 2011 that was aimed at discouraging corrupt practises in international business by Indian firms.

Besides, a strong and effective Lokpal and a Judicial Accountability Bill to ensure integrity of the judiciary were also on the anvil, Kumar said.

Kumar also said the CVC is leading a Task Force to develop a system that would help anti-corruption agencies across the world to exchange information, knowledge and experience to fight graft effectively.
PTI



First Published: Saturday, July 7, 2012 - 21:52

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