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Corruption rampant: Sorabjee

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 17, 2006

Corruption rampant: Sorabjee
From D Ravi Kanth DH News Service Geneva:


Former attorney general Soli Sorabjee told the United Nations Sub-Commission on the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights on Tuesday India is experiencing a tidal wave of “corruption” in all walks of life, causing an enormous threat to the fabric of society.

During a debate at the sub-commission on corruption and its debilitating impact on the full enjoyment of human rights, Sorabjee, who works with the UN body as its expert, said corruption is rampant all over India, particularly at the lower level where nothing passed unless somebody’s palm was greased. He said corruption is institutionalised even at the higher levels because of the failure on the part of the State and the courts to enforce stringent anti-corruption laws.

Sorabjee said trails involving corrupt officials took long time to be decided, arguing that even when they are jailed a corrupt official repeated his corruption within the jail.

Corruption universal

In her report, a sub-commission expert and Special Rapporteur Christy Ezim-Mbonu said she established the universality of corruption because the phenomenon is present almost everywhere, irrespective of the country and the level of development or its ideological leanings.

She said corruption is a “cancer” that is destroying the vials of society, and thereby, denying the fundamental human rights.

In the reports, the special rapporteur had variously discussed corruption in the judiciary, among law enforcement agents, in political parties, among parliamentarians, in the private sector and in procurement procedures.

Although many countries joined the UN convention against corruption, only France ratified the instrument.

She said if countries don’t tackle this universal problem, people are bound to face large-scale violation of basic human rights, particularly economic, social, and cultural rights.

Sorabjee concurred with the special rapporteur’s report arguing that the only way to mitigate the problem is to freeze the assets of corrupt officials, a step that required resolute political will.

Political will

Unfortunately, no political party in India is prepared to include such serious measures in their political agenda.

He said a corrupt official not only increases his or her bank balance, but is a violator of human rights.

A society must learn to ostracise corrupt of officials, said Sorabjee.

Former Pakistan’s foreign minister Abdul Sattar, who also serves the sub-commission as an expert, also lamented corruption.

He said it spread rapidly and there is no immediate treatment to tackle this problem.

Developing nations

Mr Sattar said developing countries which were victims of the disease were too often dominated by elites who were often already corrupt.

Sattar said while some countries applied technology to identifying terrorists, most of them did not use such methods for identifying and impeding the transfer of funds derived from corruption.


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