In 2003, the then Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi A Annan, during the "UN Convention Against Corruption" noted, "Corruption is an insidious plague that has a wide range of corrosive effects on societies. It undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to violations of human rights, distorts markets, erodes the quality of life and allows organised crime, terrorism and other threats to human security to flourish." He further observed corruption is the major bottleneck in the way of development and eradication of poverty.
In this convention the government of India became the signatory after understanding the nuances and need to end the corruption menace in the country. It is common knowledge that corruption is much like plague which infects democracy, judiciary and day-to-day functioning and in the longer run mars the functioning of the government.
It has been nine years since India signed this important convention against corruption, but it is unfortunate that on ground the situation remains unchanged as no action has been taken.
In 1993 AN Vohra committee, which was constituted to study the problem of the criminalisation of politics and of the nexus among criminals, politicians and bureaucrats in India, submitted its report.
The report contained several observations made by official agencies on the criminal network which was virtually running a parallel government. It also discussed criminal gangs who enjoyed the patronage of politicians, of all parties, and the protection of government functionaries. It revealed that there was a nexus between gangs, police, bureaucrats and politicians.
Our Judiciary which was established to look into individual crimes is unable to look in to such organised criminal nexuses. These nexus have muscle and money and are very well connected with the politicians. Corruption has reached an enormous
It is necessary that we confront this plague which has made the mechanisms and anti-corruptions laws defunct. It has been almost two decades since the Vohra Report was submitted but we are yet to act on it.
Article 6(2) of UNCAC notes, "Each State Party shall grant the body or bodies referred to in paragraph 1 of this article the necessary independence, in accordance with the fundamental principles of its legal system, to enable the body or bodies to carry out its or their functions effectively and free from any undue influence. The necessary material resources and specialised staff, as well as the training that such staff may require to carry out their functions, should be provided."
Despite being a signatory our government is not letting the institutions established to fight corruption function independently. What was the need to sign the UN Convention? Is it not prudent to assume that the government doesn't want to strengthen such institutions?
Until rampant corruption is not nipped in the bud, the future of our country would be bleak. Both the UN Convention and the Vohra Committee report in unison raise concerns and fears but there is no action. It is matter of grave concern.
I request your good self and your cabinet to read the UN Convection document which was signed by our government and also the '1993 Vohra Report' again. It is possible that due to your busy schedule you may have forgotten the details of the convention and the findings of the report.
I request you to implement the recommendations of the Vohra Report.
In the service of the nation