Minister refuses to answer Parliament on amendment to anti-corruption bill

jitendra-singh

The ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions has refused to provide an answer to the Parliament on whether the proposed amendment to the Prevention of Corruption Act will make investigation of corruption charges against officials difficult.

The ministry — which oversees all administrative matters relating to central government employees — has reportedly formulated an amendment which makes approval from the Central and State Governments mandatory for the investigative agencies prior to investigation against the serving and retired bureaucrats.

Such amendments have been repeatedly struck down by the Supreme Court in the past on the grounds that making it mandatory to seek approval from an officials seniors before beginning an investigation would alert the official about the investigation itself.

To seek permission for investigation, the investigating agency such as the CBI or CVC would have to furnish all the important pieces of evidence that it has against the official to his superior(s).

Because of this, said the Supreme Court in 2004, “there will be no confidentiality and insulation of the investigating agency from political and bureaucratic control and influence because the approval is to be taken from the Central Government which would involve leaks and disclosures at every stage.”

When Janata Dal United MP Harivansh asked in a written question whether inserting such a clause would make “any kind of probe against corrupt officers.. a very cumbersome process,” Jitendra Singh, minister of state for personnel, replied as follows.

“It is premature to comment upon the hypothetical proposition which relates to implementation of a proposed legislation.” In effect, the statement seems to imply that the ministry has no idea whether the new law that it proposes will make investigations cumbersome or not.

It is very rare for ministers to refuse to answer questions from Members of Parliament, even if the question refers to things which are in common knowledge.

The current dispensation under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to be tougher on corruption compared to the previous UPA government, and many have criticized the government’s move to re-introduce such as amendment.



Supreme Court to consider banning charge-sheeted candidates from polls The Supreme Court has today agreed to hear a petition that seeks to ban anyone who has been charge-sheeted in a criminal case from contesting elections in India.BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay, who is among one of the most prolific filers of public interest litigation in India, is among those who had filed such petitions seeking disqualification of such ...
COLUMN: Why it’s hypocritical for Rahul Gandhi to accuse Narendra Modi of taking money from co... One of the interesting aspects of the current accusations and counter accusations around the alleged funding of BJP's 2014 Lok Sabha campaign by corporate houses is the sheer hypocrisy of it.Let's see why.According to third-party figures, an estimated Rs 23,000 cr was spent by candidates and political parties on the 2014 general election.Assu...
Mining baron Sekhar Reddy arrested after Income Tax raids Sand miner Shekar Reddy has been arrested, two weeks after the seizure of crores of rupees and gold in an income tax raid. The arrest has come hours after Income Tax officials conducted a raid on Tamil Nadu's top bureaucrat chief secretary P Rama Mohana Rao at his home.It was speculated that Rao's home was raided on the basis of information obtained from...
Rahul Gandhi’s gives ‘earthquake evidence’ on Modi After keeping the nation waiting for 10 days, Rahul Gandhi today dropped his 'bomb' on Narendra Modi that he had promised would 'cause an earthquake'.Gandhi said a company based in Uttar Pradesh has written "that Modi has taken money from them multiple times over six months."Quoting income tax investigation reports, Gandhi said: "They have writt...
Demonetizaton: Govt places limits on last minute deposits The Reserve Bank of India said that any person who continues to hold old notes of 500 and 1000 rupees in bulk will get only one more chance to deposit them into bank accounts and will also have to provide an explanation for the delayed deposit."Tenders of SBNs in excess of ₹ 5000 into a bank account will be received for credit only once during the remain...
UPA-era procurement delays kept us back – BSNL CMD BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava blamed delays in procuring key equipment for the present backward condition of the state-owned telecom operator.The company, which was once profitable and dominated India's telecom sector, has run up huge losses in the last several years, while private telecom companies have reaped tens of thousands ...
BSNL JE 2016 recruitment frozen after complaints to DoT – CMD Shrivastava BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava said the recruitment of Junior Engineers (JEs) into the telecom company has been frozen by the Department of Telecom on the basis of complaints."It is being held up by the Department of Telecom... due to complaints," Shrivastava said in response to questions by candidates who have qualified in the ex...
Allahabad High Court says Triple Talaq ‘unconstitutional’ The Allahabad High Court has today said 'triple talaq' or the divorcing of women under Islamic laws -- is unconstitutional in Indian law.The provision "violates women's rights" and no personal law board is above the Indian constitution, the court said while hearing a petition filed by a Muslim woman from Bulandshahr.The constitution of India assu...
Petrol Pumps, Airlines Will Not Take Old Notes From Saturday | DEMONETIZATION Old notes will no longer be accepted at petrol pumps and airline ticket counters starting from Saturday, according to sources.So far, petrol pumps and airlines had been given an exemption from demonetization of 500 and 1000 rupee notes.However, in an effort to control the widespread 'whitening' of black money, the government is gearing up to plug...
BJP asks all MPs, MLAs to submit bank statement to party As part of the ongoing crackdown on tax evasion and illicit funds, the Bharatiya Janata Party has asked all its MPs and MLAs to submit the full details of their banking transactions from Nov 8 onwards.The central leadership of the party will examine the bank statements of these representatives to check for any illegal or suspicious cash transactions....
7 ILLOGICAL REASONS to oppose DEMONETIZATION The current demonetization move by the Narendra Modi government has seen a lot of accusations and counter-accusations being levelled by both the supporters and opponents of the move.While the government has tried to deal head on with the official accusations levelled by opposition political parties, a much more subtle misinformation campaign is going o...
DEMONETIZATION: How some earned lakhs standing in queues The government has banned over-the-counter exchange of old 500- and 1000-rupee notes due to suspected gaming of the system by those with black money. According to banking industry sources, the over-the-counter exchange system was being massively misused by hawala operators and others who had illegal funds to convert their old currency into new notes."The...
Fitch says demonetization gains may not last Fitch Ratings said the positive effects are unlikely to be strong and sufficiently enduring "to support credit profiles" and will impact GDP growth in the current quarter.Though the gains will be substantial in the short-term, they may not last as people may still go back to their old ways after a while.It said the move has the potential to raise...
Modi Govt to give ‘cashback’ on black money destroyed? He may not be able to deliver the Rs 15 lakhs, but according to a media report, Narendra Modi's government is thinking of transferring at least part of the black money destroyed through demonetization to Jan Dhan account holders.Jan Dhan accounts were opened in 2014 by economically weaker sections of the population who did not have any bank accounts at t...
Praful Patel says Modi has made it difficult to fight elections Nationalist Congress Party leader Praful Patel said political parties are facing a lot of problems in fighting elections due to the ongoing crack-down on cash by Narendra Modi government."You know what is going on with fighting elections.. you have also been a treasurer," Patel said in the Rajya Sabha today, looking at a fellow MP."There is no point ...