[First Prize winning Essay in All India CBI’s Essay writing Competition]
Mr. Sourav Sengupta, B.Tech, I Year, EEE
India our country suffers from a horrible malady-corruption. Corruption may be defined as an act of bribery or misuse of public position or power for the fulfillment of selfish motives or to gain personal gratifications. The most common forms of corruption are taking of bribes, nepotism, misappropriation and patronage. The control and eventual eradication of corruption require certain steps to be taken by the government and the citizens of the country. These measures collectively form the anti-corruption machinery.
To curtail corruption the government of India did introduce anti corruption laws. The Prevention of Corruption Act came into force in September 1988.It was an improvisation of the Act of 1947. The scope of the act was enlarged and widened to include the term ‘public servants’. The Central Government has set up four departments to check corruption- Administrative Vigilance Division in the department of Personnel and Training, Central Bureau of Investigation, Domestic Vigilance units in Ministries/Departments/Public Undertakings or Nationalized Banks and Central Vigilance Commission. These steps are deemed outdated and underutilized by several critics. This is because most of these departments are directly under the central government and hence have no freedom to exercise powers of their own.
The common man has a huge role to play in the control of corruption. The efforts of veteran anti-corruption crusader Mr. Anna Hazare are exemplary. In April 2011 a peaceful and non-violent protest was staged at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Mr. Hazare went on an indefinite fast which forced the government to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill. He received nationwide support in this endeavour. One of the main features of the bill is that it will ensure an independent CBI. This is crucial in controlling corruption at higher levels of the government (MLA’s MP’s and bureaucrats).
The rising levels of corruption have led to a widespread distrust in the common man‘s minds. The formation of the Aam Aadmi party under the leadership of Mr. Arvind Khejrewal proves this fact. People no longer have faith in any of the political parties and are desperate for change.
The contribution of the CBI in the domain of anti corruption though trivial hasn’t gone unnoticed. The Satyam Scam in the year 2009 is an example. The fraud was perpetrated by inflating the revenue of the company through false sale invoices and showing corresponding gains by forging bank statements with the connivance of Statutory and Internal Auditors of the company. The annual financial statements of the company with inflated revenue were published for several years and this lead to higher price of the scrip in the market. In the process, innocent investors were lured to invest in the company. The constituted CBI team filed a charge sheet within a record time of 45 days leading to the just treatment of the perpetrators of the crime.
The 2G spectrum scam of 2012: This scam was brought to light in extensive detail by the CBI. It involved politicians and government officials in India illegally undercharging mobile telephone companies for frequency allocation licenses which they would then use to generate 2G spectrum subscriptions for mobile phones. The primary accused were the then telecom minister A. Raja and member of parliament M.K. Kanimozhi and several other bureaucrats. This led to their subsequent arrests and was instrumental in bringing the magnitude of corruption in our system to light.
Corruption has spread its roots wide and deep into the Indian society. It is common that a day in the life of an average Indian is impossible without an experience of corruption. It is because of this fact that it is solely our responsibility to ensure that we gift the future generations a corruption free way of life. In several occasions we find ourselves to be the actual cause of corruption at the grassroots. This requires immediate attention as the solution to any problem is only found when it is nipped at the bud. India is the fastest growing economy in the world. It is has immense potential to rise above its own self and attain new heights in terms of scientific, social, cultural and economical achievements. To utilize this and generate desired results we must first remove the insignificant road block of corruption. If we fail to do so, Corruption is and will always remain the Achilles heel of India.