Friday, 18 March 2016

5 Customs Officials Arrested at KIA Bengaluru

Bangalore Mirror dated 19/3/16 reports that the Anti-Corruption Branch of the CBI arrested 5 Superintendents of Customs at the KI Airport . They were caught for allegedly collecting bribes from agents for clearing files for the release of imported goods at the terminal.

Blow to Lokayukta as government sets up Anti-Corruption Bureau

In a move that could effectively end even the promise of an independent probe into corruption cases against public servants, hitherto carried out by the Lokayukta police, the State government on Monday, through a GO, wrested the powers of investigation under the Prevention of Corruption Act from the Lokayukta police wing.
The State government has now created an Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) which will work under its direct supervision, to probe cases of corruption against public servants, raising serious questions about the independent nature of such investigations.
ACB to be headed by an Additional Director-General of Police (ADGP)-rank officer is seen by experts as “a dangerous throwback” to the days before the Karnataka Lokayukta Act was enacted in 1984. An ACB under the Home Department was working as a watchdog within the government then. While the Lokayukta police were independent of the Lokayukta in probes under the Prevention of Corruption Act, the Lokayukta remained the administrative head of the police wing as well, providing a buffer to carry out independent probes against political bigwigs, such as former chief ministers.
The Lokayukta police wing will now be reduced to assisting the Lokayukta in their probes, under the Karnataka Lokayukta Act, 1988, which even the former Lokayuktas agree is toothless in fighting corruption.
The move will effectively make Lokayukta redundant. This is part of the concerted efforts by the State government to weaken the institution of Lokayukta. Emboldened by the bribery scandal precipitated by the former Lokayukta, Y. Bhaskar Rao, the government is misusing the circumstance to essentially weaken the institution.
N. Santosh Hegdeformer Lokayukta
More In: Today's Paper

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Process Reform in Police Verification for Passports

Every activity in the government bristles with corruption. Retail corruption in Passport Verification by Police is a major irritant. 

My solution is to altogether dispense with "Police Verification" and replace it with a more effective, scientific and comprehensive verification by the passport issuing authority itself.

This will provide enormous relief to the applicants for issue of Passports.

Dr S.T. Ramesh I.P.S. (Retd)
Former DGP Karnataka
Adviser, Janaagraha

P.S.: This is a precursor to a Process Reform document on Police Verification for Issuing Passports undertaken by Dr Ramesh and the I Paid a Bribe Team at Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy.


Tuesday, 1 March 2016

3 More Special Courts For Lokayukta Cases

BENGALURU:  Taking serious note of the High Court’s observations on inordinate delay in trial of corruption cases, the state government has designated three more courts for Bengaluru Urban, in addition to the existing special court, to clear pending cases.
On Friday, Additional Advocate General A S Ponnanna informed Justice A N Venugopala Gowda that on February 10 the government notified three more courts to conduct the trial of Lokayukta cases. 
Justice Gowda, who is hearing a corruption case wherein the trial was delayed, directed the authorities to fill the posts of non-gazetted officers, required in these courts.
He also directed the Registrar of Lokayukta to appear before the court on March 8 as action needs to be taken regarding the investigation and prosecution wings of Lokayukta.

Published: 20th February 2016 04:38 AM
Last Updated: 20th February 2016 04:38 AM 
The New Indian Express, Online Edition
Submitted by Dr Malati Das I.A.S. (Retd.)
Former Chief Secretary, Karnataka
Adviser, Janaagraha  

Corrupt Babu Gets Two Years in Jail

BENGALURU: Stating that corruption by a public servant is highly dangerous to society and seriously affects the welfare of the nation, a CBI Special Court convicted a former Registrar of Companies, Bengaluru, in a disproportionate assets (DA) case registered by CBI in 2005.
The convicted is B M Anand, a resident of Kanakapura Road in Basavanagudi. The court acquitted Anand’s wife Laxmi Anand, who was the second accused. She is a former employee of a nationalised bank.
In his 446-page judgment dated January 30, CBI Special Court judge Aswatha Narayana sentenced Anand to simple imprisonment for two years and imposed a fine of `15 lakh.
“The disproportionate assets worth `65.84 lakh (60 per cent) held by Anand in his name and in the names of his family members are confiscated to state,” the court ordered.
“The accused was a Group-A officer of the Central government in the cadre of joint secretary. Though he was in such a high position, without any regard for the office he held, the oath he had taken and also by ignoring the welfare of society, he has committed the heinous crime”, the judge noted.
On Anand’s age, who is a senior citizen, the judge said if any mercy is shown, a wrong message will go to society to the effect that it is possible to escape punishment by committing serious offences too.
Anand was Joint Director (Accounts and Inspection) in the office of the Regional Director, Department of Company Affairs, Mumbai, from 1985 to 1998 and later was Joint Director (Inspections) in the office of the Regional Director, Department of Company Affairs, Chennai, till 1999.
He was transferred as Registrar of Companies, Bengaluru, on April 22, 1999 and was in that post till July 4, 2005.
Biju George Joseph, the then Superintendent of Police, ACB, Bengaluru, registered the case against Anand on April 5, 2005, under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
An investigation revealed that Anand, his wife and son have 31 bank accounts in Mumbai and Bengaluru with `23.43 lakh cash in all.
Anand allegedly possessed assets worth `99.18 lakh which was disproportionate to his known sources of income to an extent of 105.08 per cent, during the check period from January 1, 1996 to April 6, 2005.

Published: 20th February 2016 04:40 AM
Last Updated: 20th February 2016 04:40 AM 
The New Indian Express Online Edition 
Submitted by Dr Malati Das I.A.S. (Retd.)
Former Chief Secretary, Karnataka
Adviser, Janaagraha