By : M.S.Yatnatti: Editor and Video Journalist Bengaluru : It is official corruption is rampant within the lokayukta institution as lid is open and truth is out .Sonia Narang IPS is not wrong in reporting corruption within the lokayukta institution . Lokayukta son himself has come under cloud .Many officers of lokayukta have been accused of extortion racket In house corruption is denting the image. Amid reports of corruption within the Lokayukta, it has been found that an extortion racket is run within the institution.To make money , insiders allegedly misuse RTI queries and complaints filed against government officers, a source informed this news paper . With help from persons within, some private individuals source RTI applications filed to seek information against government officers.These officers are then threatened with Lokayukta cases if they don't pay up.Calling it one of the "ugliest" phases in the Lokayukta's history, a source said the racket is said to have been in operation for at least one year. The "ring leaders" randomly select government officers to extort money. example, if an RTI application seeks information on a Rs 20-lakh project taken up by the officer, then the "cut" demanded would be a percentage of Rs 20 lakh. The source said the extor tion ring has "hired" peo ple to apply for RTI information or file cases against a highranking officers, and then use the information to seek bribes.Most cases have ended in acquittal and reason is in-house corruption . Corruption within lokayukta is true and the news is officially out. Strangely, one of the most active Lokayuktas, in Karnataka, has failed to secure substantial convictions or false complaints on the raise .Either one need to be convicted. The officers who are filing false complaint and charge sheet need to be convicted. The officers who are distorting and destroying the evidence and helping in acquittal of corrupt also need to be checked as in-house corruption is rampant as reported by in house inquiry. According to sources in Lokayukta the prime reason for the low rate of conviction is the interminable delay in trial. "It takes about three years to collect the evidence, take the statements of accused officers and calculate the proportion of (unaccounted wealth), and another seven years to get prosecution sanction from the government and commence the trial. Ten years is too long period for commencement of a case. There are several other reasons also that have led to the low rate of conviction,” he said. An analysis of the cases handled by the Karnataka Lokayukta during 1995-2011 using data obtained through the RTI Act provides such an opportunity. Lokayukta can investigate corruption cases either by traps initiated in response to complaints or raids conducted on the basis of information collected by the Lokayukta police. After a raid or trap, the Lokayukta police investigates the case, and if it is unable to find sufficient evidence to prosecute, then it is closed. Otherwise, a request is made to the competent authority to sanction prosecution. If the sanction is granted, the charge sheet is filed for trial. Tackling corruption requires a fundamental restructuring of the core administrative functions of the government, and the criminal legal system, which accounts for almost the entire delay in prosecution of corruption. With allegations of corruption in the office of Lokayukta flying thick and fast, the clamour for a fair probe grew on Friday. While social activist S.R. Hiremath asked Lokayukta Y. Bhaskar Rao to step aside, Karnataka State Bar Council Chairman P.P. Hegde and Aam Aadmi Party sought his resignation.As far as the investigation is concerned, Mr. Rao should have recommended a CBI probe and go on leave to allow a free and fair investigation, Mr. Hiremath said. "I had cautioned him about the corrupt practices, but he failed to take firm steps. Despite being aware of the corruption in his institution, he did not act give the importance or sanctity to the issue it deserved." In fact, he failed to react to a report submitted by Superintendent of Police Sonia Narang in this regard, he said.Mr. Hegde said that Mr. Rao should take moral responsibility and demit office to uphold the sanctity of the post. "Allegations about a demand for bribe by a Lokayukta official were serious and the persons involved should be booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act.” He said the council will submit a representation to Governor Vajubhai Vala to look into the allegations, and advocates will stage demonstrations seeking Mr Rao's resignation.AAP spokesperson Ravikrishna Reddy said, "To uphold the dignity of the institution as well as to instill confidence among people about the institution, Mr. Rao should resign and face the probe.".Reacting to the demands, Mr. Bhaskar Rao told presspersons that he is ready to resign if the probe finds him guilty.
The Lokayukta top officials want intensive scrutiny of its staff. The anti-corruption watchdog institution is doing these following complaints of bribe being demanded in the name of Lokayukta officials. With the incident bringing the anti-corruption watchdog into increased scrutiny, the top lokayukta officials swung into action to introduce stringent measures in a bid to check any and all corruption within its house. Lokayukta has decided to bring in a number of changes in the institution to check any issue pertaining to in-house corruption. The complainant has said that he has been receiving the threatening calls for over a month. The government officer was allegedly also threatened that a file of disproportionate assets case against him had been prepared and would be reportedlyforwarded to Sonia Narang if he failed to pay up, which in turn would make his life miserable.
Karnataka Lokayukta has taken up a drive to unearth disproportionate assets acquired by corrupt public servants.Acquisition of wealth disproportionate to known sources of income is punishable under Section 13 (2) r/w 13(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988Section 13(1)(e) says that a public servant is said to commit the offenceof criminal misconduct if he or any person on his behalf, is in possession or has, at any time during the period of his office, been in possession for which the public servant cannot satisfactorily account, of pecuniaryresources or property disproportionate to his known sources of income. For the purposes of this section, "known sources of income” means income received from any lawful source and such receipt has been intimated in accordance with the provisions of any law, rules or orders for the time being applicable a public servant.It need not be under emphasized that you can be a useful source for unearthing this disproportionate assets acquired by corrupt public servants.Your co-operation with the Karnataka Lokayukta to reveal the assets acquired by the public servants would go a long way in preventing corruption.It is however, requested that the information be given in specific terms i.e., instead of simply mentioning that a public servant has got vast extent of properties, it would be useful if the location of these properties in specific terms is given etc. It will be ensured that the details that are provided by you will not be disclosed by any one.If you so wish you need not reveal your name also.
Problems Redressal of Citizens Grievances is the subject on which the Administrative Reforms Commission headed by Late Shri. Morarji Desai, who later became the Prime Minister of India gave its first report. It is that report which recommended for the establishment of Lokpal and Lokayukta institutions at the Central and State level respectively for redressal of citizens grievances by investigating into administrative actions taken by or on behalf of Central Government or State Government or certain public authorities. These institutions were intended to serve as institutions independent of the Government concerned and as institutions to supplement the judicial institutions headed by Chief Justices or Judges of Supreme Court of India or High Court of the State. The recommendation for appointment of Lokayuktas at the States level, as indicated in that report, was made to improve the standards of Public Administration, by looking into complaints against administrative actions, including cases of corruption, favouritism and official indiscipline in administrative machinery. It is the said recommendation which made the Karnataka State Legislature to enact the Karnataka Lokayukta Act 1984 for investigating into allegations or grievances in respect of administrative actions relatable to matters specified in List II or List III of the 7th Schedule to the Constitution of India.