India riddled with corruption !

H.H. (Adv.) Suresh Kulkarni

The topic of corruption is frequently discussed in newspapers and on TV channels at length. News on corruption highlights corruption starting from high profile officers to common men and Government employees and their arrest. People are neither given moral lessons and education on Dharma nor taught Righteousness. This gives rise to bribery in every section of India. It seems that this can stop only after establishing the “Hindu Rashtra”.

1. Police register FIRs regarding suicides only after loud protests

A few days ago, newspapers of Marathwada region in Maharashtra published a news. A senior officer of the Panchayat Samiti in Bidkin used to regularly demand bribes from a Rural Development Officer Sanjay Haribhau Shinde. Frustrated with the demands Mr. Shinde committed suicide. A Block Development Officer was suspended in this case and one more employee responsible for this suicide was suspended.

Thus, an attempt to close the matter was successful. After local political leaders and relatives of the victim protested, the Police registered a criminal offence against the accused. The Police also do not register an offence if someone commits suicide by consuming poison. It appears as though only loud protests can awaken the Police.

2. No fear of punishment makes the administration corrupt and arrogant

Today, numerous criminal offences are pending in the Courts. The percentage of crimes that get punished is negligible. Hence, the administration has no fear of punishment. As a result, the whole administration has become unchecked, corrupt and arrogant.

If a Government employee is in Police custody for more than 48 hours in a bribery case, he is suspended, but gets half his basic salary for 6 months. If the suspension is more than 8 months, he gets 75% of his basic salary. Since such cases take time to reach their outcome, the suspension of the employee gets cancelled and his service is also restored.

3. Revenue department ranks first in bribery

All said and done, the revenue department has the dubious distinction of being the first, while the Police department ranks second in corruption. Early in January 2021, a news claimed that the revenue department has maximum corruption. Over 500 corruption cases were registered against Government employees in 2020. The revenue and Police departments have 24.7% share in this. A report in this regard states that the Municipal Councils are at the third spot.

4. Rampant corruption in the judicial system !

A. The judicial system does not lag in corruption either. There is rampant corruption in the junior and District Courts. Administrative employees are also ahead in corruption. Recently a court employee, Rahul Anant Panchal, was arrested for accepting bribes.

B. Junior judges are also involved in corruption. The judicial system has a prominent hold on society. This and a fear of retribution stops these complainants and lawyers, who have are aggrieved and under pressure, from registering complaints against the judges.

C. Complaints about corruption are submitted to the District judge or High Court Registrar. If there are complaints against a junior judge, the District judge releases a transfer or suspension order against the accused after investigation. There is hardly any example of a lawsuit being filed in such matters.

5. Filing a petition to name a corrupt former judge of the Karnataka High Court as a co-accused in a case

A. Yuvaraj Swamy, a conman from Bengaluru, has been accused of duping a judge by promising her appointment as a Governor. He accepted Rs. 8.8 crore from her in this matter, The promise failed to materialize. Based on her complaint in the Wilson Garden Police Station, an offence was filed against the accused. Though receiving and giving bribes is an offence, the former judge was not named as a co-accused. On behalf of the Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad, Advocate Amruthesh NP filed a petition with the CBI demanding that the former judge be named as a co-accused. The petition is pending in a Court.

B. How did the retired judge acquire so much money ? Was she not aware of the legal procedures of how a Governor is appointed ? Does this mean that she has also indulged in bribery to get appointed as a judge ? These angles should also be investigated.

C. The Prevention of Corruption Act was came into existence in 1947. It was later amended in 1964, 1988, 2014 and 2018. Despite this, corruption still reigns supreme across the country.

6. An indifferent administration is responsible for the corrupt going scot-free !

A. As of now, a corrupt employee only gets suspended. The administration does not complete the investigation till a lawsuit is being heard in the Court. If the investigation of such employees is carried out and they are suspended immediately, they would not dare to accept bribes. If arrested, they are released on bail and the hearing drags on for years. And then, the plaintiff gets discouraged and the witnesses are coerced into turning hostile.

B. Getting permission from the officer who has the right to appoint an employee to file a lawsuit is very time-consuming. Former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Barrister Antulay was accused of corruption. It then took 10-20 years to get permission to prosecute him, as it went all the way to the Supreme Court. Then it took another 10 years to decide who will hear the lawsuit. Thus, though the crimes are proved, the rate of conviction is negligible.

C. The Government administration attempts to save the corrupt employee from being punished. The indifference of the administration is largely responsible for not letting the crimes reach their logical conclusion. India’s black money is deposited in foreign countries on a large scale. This reminds one of the Sanskrut proverb ‘Yatha raja tatha praja’ (As is the king, so are the subjects). Many members of the Parliament are accused of corruption or are elected through corrupt means. Thus, there is a great need to create awareness in society to bring corrupt individuals to book.

7. People should be educated on Dharma to bring an end to corruption !

People are not educated on Dharma, and since they have no knowledge of Holy texts such as Shrimad- bhagawadgeeta, Ramayan, Mahabharat, India’s morality is spiralling downwards. This has led to an increase in corruption. During the rule of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, soldiers were instructed not to touch even a single grain.

In the ‘Hindu Rashtra’, ethics, Dharma and good behaviour will be inculcated right from childhood.

– H.H. (Adv.) Suresh Kulkarni (Founder-member Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad and Advocate at Bombay High Court)

Latest examples of rampant corruption in India

1. Senior Railway Engineering Service official, Mahendra Singh Chauhan, solicited bribes amounting to Rs. 1 crore from a private contractor for issuing contracts of North East Frontier Railway in Assam.

2. CBI raided the residence of a CBI officer RK Rishi at Koushambi, Ghaziabad.

3. Nearly 60% of the staff in Gwalior Municipal Corporation have been charged with corruption.

4. According to a news channel, Rs. 27 crore were seized from the residence of the Principal Secretary of a State.

5. According to the Indian Corruption Survey, 51% Indians offered a bribe for their work in Government offices.

6. Fifteen senior officers were handed premature retirement on charges of bribery.

7. Uttar Pradesh Government filed lawsuits against 600 officers on charges of corruption.

These incidents are mere glimpses of a deep-rooted system. Suffice to say that there is hardly any field which remains untouched by the curse of corruption.

– H.H. (Adv.) Suresh Kulkarni

There are many members of the Parliament who are accused of corruption or who are elected through corrupt means !

Police : An August 2020 report says the Police sector in India is susceptible to corruption and can thus carry high risks for businesses. The efficiency of the institution varies across the country, yet, on a general level, business executives report that the Police is fairly reliable in protecting them from crime and in enforcing orders. Notwithstanding, more than half of companies in India pay for security. Three-quarters of surveyed households in India perceive the Police to be corrupt and citizens frequently encounter bribery demands when dealing with officers. The Police are generally overworked, underpaid, and remain subject to political pressure, which leads to instances of corruption.