Rubbishing the government’s argument that the Lokpal cannot tackle corruption cases involving nearly four million of its employees and that it should only deal with corruption matters at joint secretary level, Team Anna on Saturday said that CBI handles same number of government employees at present as vigilance agencies like CVC merely take departmental action.
The activists said the government may have been talking of keeping the big fish in check, but the ‘catch’ is that it would ensure that “any corruption probe into government functioning leads to entirely sterile results.”
“… case studies reveal that on file, corruption starts from below, while the role of senior officers becomes visible at later stages of investigation. If the junior officers are not investigated by a credible agency, the corruption by seniors will never come to light. Many Lokayuktas have repeatedly said this,” team Hazare claimed.
“By keeping the CBI under its control, starving it of funds, adequate and trained personnel, and modern equipment and imposing restrictions on its functioning, the government has ensured that the CBI is completely ineffective,” said the activists
They said by having CBI under their clutches, it helps government in scuttling all investigations against its own people and arm twist political opponents into submission.
By bringing CBI’s anti corruption section under an independent Lokpal they just want to make it effective and independent, they added.
The activists said at present CBI has about 1,000 investigating officers among its anti-corruption section whose staff strength is 3,000.
“Together, they investigated less than 1000 cases last year, even though each officer is supposed to investigate at least 3 cases every year. Delays were caused due to government’s controls like sanctions for expenditures, for initiating investigations and prosecutions which severely dented the agency’s efficiency,” they added.
They said our anti-corruption machinery has been deliberately left starved of funds and manpower and cited the example of Delhi Police which they claim has just 15 vigilance officers to check corruption within its workforce of 80,000 people.
On questions as how Lokpal would recruit thousands of people of unblemished character, they said “of course” that is not possible but “we can certainly design systems which would make them accountable and check corruption within.”
“The same officers indulge in corruption when they work in railways, but when they go on deputation to Delhi Metro, they deliver world class metro rail network. It is all a question of right systems,” the activists added.
Stating that the best weapon to check corruption is transparency, they said they want CBI’s functioning to be completely transparent with all records post investigations to be placed on its website. DNA India