Bring politicians under CVC scanner to check graft: Ex-CVC

He emphasised on introducing stringent laws and constituting special cell of investigating officers in the Commission to conduct direct inquiries in big corruption cases like 2G spectrum allocation, Commonwealth Games projects and Adarsh society scam.

"The organisation of CVC is very small and mainly work through the Chief Vigilance Officers of various organisations who in many cases are insiders. There is a need to strengthen the CVC in terms of number and quality.

"Often It has been found that direct inquiries undertaken by the CVC were generally more effective but in order to probe many such (2G scam and CWG corruption) cases, the CVC would need a separate cell of officers who are experienced in investigation," Sinha told PTI.

"CVC has no jurisdiction over political executives. Important (corruption) cases involve both bureaucracy and political executives. That limits scope of inquiry undertaken by CVC," he said. Terming corruption as a "serious problem", the former top boss of country's anti-corruption watchdog said pending graft cases in several courts should be expedited.

"The CVC's role is limited to government of India organisations and central enterprises and undertakings. The role of CVC is advisory and recommendatory. Due to all these reasons, the CVC can only have limited impact on the level of corruption in the country.

"There is a need to frame suitable laws in order to tackle the supply side of corruption," Sinha, who retired in September last year as CVC after a four-year tenure, said. "There is also an urgent need to expedite the departmental enquiries and criminal cases pending in courts otherwise delays blunt the deterrence against wrongdoings," he said.

"Corruption is a very serious problem in India. It erodes the credibility of the entire system and it has to be tackled in war-footing. It is not confined to one particular region, organisation or department...It is equally important that innocents are saved from harassment and culprits are punished and they are punished within the timeframe," Sinha said.

He said that the CVC recommends suitable disciplinary action against government officials. It is for the administrative authority to impose punishment effectively and promptly to keep corruption at bay.

When asked about corruption in several Commonwealth Games related projects, Sinha, a 1969 batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre, said "The Commission had received certain complaints on Games projects. But some of the examination was done suo moto.

"Every year the Chief Technical Examination Wing on its own carry out several enquiries of projects which are important in terms of budget and impact.The Commonwealth Games projects were of that nature and hence CTE took them up for detailed examination. In their initial examinations, a number of lapses were detected by CTE," he said.
"But this was first stage of examination and these were communicated to the project authorities. Their response might have come but this would be after my retirement," Sinha said.

The former chief of probity watchdog favoured Lok Pal Bill to weed out corruption. "It is encouraging to see civil society getting more involved in the fight against corruption. There is also a need to have a Lok Pal at the Centre and a Lokayukta at the state level. I have supported the draft bill for Lok Pal prepared by civil society activists like Arvind Kejriwal.

"I am happy that institutes are addressing the problem. Civil society needs to be encouraged. It is also necessary to think about how do you involve people in fighting corruption. Unless they are aware and protected, it would be hard to check corruption," Sinha said.

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