CORRUPTION IN PUBLIC DEALINGS
Public dealing counters in all government offices are the Places where corruption is most evident. Virtually, the dealings are carried on in such on organized way that nothing transacts without graft and its rates are fixed. Not a scrap of paper would move without lubrication. If any body does not pay for the work and complains to the in charge of the concerned section, it is sure he won’t be able to get his work done at all. Even the officers deputed to look into the matters of corruption turn out to be corrupt. Anti-corruption raids etc., by the concerned departments to apprehend the corrupt officers prove ineffective due to procedural difficulties. The officers once caught red handed in cases of illegal gratifications are booked for prosecution and suffer a lot. Still, the moral of the corrupt officer is not affected. The network of the corruption goes on as usual and remains undeterred. The rampant corruption has not even spared foreign and multinational concerns in extracting money to comply with the procedural formalities. Consequently the country had been enlisted among the world’s toppers in corruption.
The main feature of this perpetuated corruption in public dealing counters in government offices is that all the concerned officers are solidly united behind their motive and a sort of wholesale contract is smoothly run by them. There are middlemen agencies between these counters and the interested parties in the respective cases. They serve the process on behalf of their parties, make payments and get the job done.
The system is in vogue in all-most all the public dealing counters whether it is tenders for supply, or disposal of goods, or grant of quotas or licenses etc etc. The same system is at work for recruitment in different] services where appointments are ensured through reliable middle agencies. Nexus between politicians and bureaucrats works in a very sophisticated manner. Nexus does also exist between criminals and police, politicians and bureaucrats. In the National Capital Region, there is a very strong nexus among land mafia, police and bureaucrats. It is so strong that no^ action against the mafia is a practical proposition even at the instance 61 the top brasses, and the complaints against the officials involved with the mafia directed to the vigilance and special task force are not complied with. This is rather very strange that the estate authority is being undermined by the law enforcing agency itself and tolerated by the higher ups in the seats of administration. The corrupt and anti-people character of police, is however, more evident compared to their performance and the discipline. This is more so because police enjoy unlimited power and I there is no action against them even on complaints and sufficient proof of abuse of office atrocities and high handedness. The action against them however is taken by the courts alone in course of protracted trial of the police officers on specific findings against them either by the courts themselves or through some investigating agency.
In this connection it is common sense that the corruption in this country, like any country of the world, has not become so rampant and perpetuated overnight, but in course of time.
Usually, the corruption is perpetuated only when it goes unchecked. According to some sociologists, the countries where governments are weaker and isolated from masses, corruption perpetuates. If we look for the causes of the corruption in this country, we may note certain very important factors. For instance, due to unemployment government servants enjoy the status of privileged citizens. None is responsible to any so far as disposal of work is concerned. Colleagues favour the colleagues; officers shield their subordinates; complaints are not heeded to, actions are not taken at the department level. Red tapism is at its height.
This is not the fact that no attempt has ever been made to check corruption in India. But unfortunately these attempts have been halfhearted. It includes action through departmental set-ups of vigilance and anti-corruption branches. In states, the district magistrates/collectors make arrangements on specific complaints for raids and arrest the government officer red-handed. But all this has failed to alter the situation.
Now there is needed to make fresh attempts to deal with the situation effectively. Involvement of social workers in this drive is, however, all more necessary. The steps should be taken to correct the situation overall. For instance the disposal of work, including applications and complaints etc. be taken within a specified time limit. The section officers be made personally responsible to look into the disposal of work, get the record prepared by their subordinates, and themselves prepare a resume accordingly. It will require needful amendment in the service manual/ rules and regulations. Strict laws should be made to deal with the corrupt practices providing for the termination of service, suspension and stringent penalty for dereliction of duty. Declarations of property and assets of the government employees are made compulsory and routine and surprise inspections/raids be conducted by special sleuths of enforcements to check and report.
But this could be done only when there is a strong and resolute will on part of the government to do so.