Corruption problems – Delhi Lokayukta asks to remove Minister for interference

We would have seen enough movies and serials to know how the rich and powerful have the political class as protectors. So, when a major criminal is caught, there will be some politician who will either come to the police station, or phone up, and ask for release. If there is some economic crime, then there will be changes in investigating officers, or some other loophole is found to ensure that the person gets off fairly easy. This is now a fundamental belief that people have, and the behavior of the political class would only have reinforced that belief. After all, how often is that you see that a politician has been sent to jail for corruption, or for something criminal ? Almost never, right ? People believe that a true politician will never get another one convicted for any crime, and that the levels of corruption are only on the increase.
The recent scams that relate around the Adarsh Housing Society, the CWG, and the 2G are apparently only the tip of the iceberb, and even these are being investigated only due to the relentless court and media pressures; the first steps of the Congress Government was to deny that there is anything wrong. It is only when there is sustained pressure and the fear that the citizens are starting to perceive the entire Government as corrupt is something actually done. Just a few weeks back, there was the censure of Vilasrao Deshmukh by the courts for interfering with the case against a money lender, and the Maharashtra Government had to pay a fine for this interference, but nothing happened to the Minister.

In another criticism of the actions of politicians for stepping in where some of their interests are involved and trying to subvert investigations, the Delhi LokAyukta has criticized a Congress Minister of the Delhi Government for such interference, and asked that he be removed from the Delhi Government (link to article):

Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin’s order came in a case pertaining to the minister’s alleged involvement in influencing a team of tax officials to provide relief to the resort in a tax evasion case. “In his order, the Lokayukta has recommended to President of India to withdraw her pleasure in allowing the minister to continue as a minister in Delhi Government,” a top official in Lokayukta said.
The Lokayukta has also recommended prosecution of the minister under various sections of Delhi Value Added Tax Act, 2004. Asked about the order, Chauhan said as public representative, he gets lots of calls from people requesting for favours and he only responded to such a call. “I am a public representative. I always try to help people. I may have made the call to help somebody who had requested me for some favour,” he said claiming that the order is of recommendatory nature only.

As in the Vilasrao Deshmukh case, one can be pretty sure that the Government will not do anything, wait for the whole thing to die down. And forget any sort of prosecution, that is stuff of fantasy. It is only if the courts get involved, and too with some amount of persistence, that one can hope for some action happening.

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