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Luminaries come together to fight corruption

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 24, 2006

Luminaries come together to fight corruption
DH News Service Bangalore:


As well-meaning ideas go, this one is hard to beat. No less a person than a former chief justice of India, a union minister, a former education and revenue minister, an MLA and a member of the State Planning Board, have come together to fight corruption and injustice in the country. If they have their way, a Virtual Court might be in the offing, apart from a reformed electoral system and a new political culture.

Under the chairmanship of former chief justice, Justice M N Venkatachaliah, a registered Trust — the Centre for Standards in Public Life (CSPL) — started functioning on Wednesday, with the trust members drafting ‘bills’ and memoranda that would be screened by a Governing Council for “further proceedings”.

Addressing the media on the occasion, Justice Venkatachaliah said a comprehensive law was required to regulate the formation of political parties, their funding, issues pertaining to transparency and the like.

“For this, all political parties should be brought together, and a consensus evolved, as it is time somebody arrested the decay in the political system,” he said. A three-member body would screen and approve a Political Parties Law within three months, he added.

Stating that the size of the parallel economy of the country was estimated at 47 per cent of the $690-billion GDP of the nation, he said the ‘nexus’ between the political party executives and permanent civil services should be checked immediately.

Former union minister M S Gurupadaswamy, whose brainchild CSPL is, said corruption in public life would be addressed by the Trust. “The electoral system is in urgent need of reform. Also, the Lokayukta should be given full autonomy and powers and strengthened at the state level,” he said. The Lokpal Bill, pending for over 20 years, should be passed soonest.

The other trustees of the outfit are former education/revenue minister B Somshekhar, former MLA Chandrakanth Bellad and former Planning Board member-secretary Mumtaz Ali Khan. There are 20 members in the Governing Council, including journalist Kuldip Nayyar, historian Ramachandra Guha, and leading Supreme Court advocate Prashanth Bhushan.

CSPL is located at Aradhya Complex, 1st Floor, 21/1, Vani Vilas Road, Basavangudi.

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