By : M.S.Yatnatti: Editor and Video Journalist Bangaluru : Most cases have ended in acquittal. 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. 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.
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.
Public Servants please keep your Accounts in shape: many raids investigations and court verdicts are coming in. These raids and verdicts give strong message to public servants to keep their accounts clean and Eveready. Public servants income and expenditure should be legal and accountable and their assets should not be in excess of their known sources of income. Clause (e) of the Sub-section 13(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 defines an offence what is popularly called possession of disproportionate assets in the following words-"A public servant commits the offence of 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 pecuniary resources or property disproportionate to his known sources of income.”.