The Hindu Important Articles 10 April 2018
Central Vigilance Commission witnesses a dramatic drop in complaints
‘Perceived fall in public trust in anti-corruption bodies needs study’
The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) saw a dramatic drop in the total number of complaints received by it in 2017, keeping in line with the drop in actions by various government departments in cracking down on corruption. The 23,609 complaints received in 2017 by the CVC was less than half of almost 50,000 complaints received in 2016, and the lowest in the previous five years.
Officials said some of this can be explained by the improved system for weeding out duplication of complaints and a few other streamlining exercises undertaken in recent years. However, others, including whistle blowers and civil servants, said a deeper study was required to assess if the public was losing its trust in anti-corruption bodies because of their perceived inefficiency, quality of investigations and possible manipulations at various levels. They also suggest that the government should notify the original Whistle Blowers Protection Act, 2011, appoint a Lokpal, and initiate other steps for strengthening anti-corruption mechanisms.
According to the CVC’s annual report submitted to Parliament last week, in the calender year 2017, the agency tackled a total of 26,052 complaints, which included 2,443 brought forward from 2016. Of this, 22,386 complaints were disposed off, and 3,666 complaints remained pending at the end of 2017. Out of them, 2,391 complaints were anonymous, and, the report says, “In majority of complaints the allegations were found to be either vague or unverifiable”.
Quality of investigation
The annual report itself highlights one possible reason why there is a general public disenchantment with anti-corruption mechanisms. When it receives a complaint, the CVC calls for inquiry reports from the appropriate agencies. “As per the laid down procedure, the inquiry/ investigation reports are required to be sent to the Commission within a period of three months. However, it is observed that in a majority of cases, there is considerable delay in finalising and submitting reports to the Commission,” the report says. A Central Bureau of Investigation source points out that there was a need to look at the quality of investigation done by agencies. “We have seen a consistent drop in the quality of investigation. While the early steps such as raids and PEs (Preliminary Enquiry) are well publicised, the follow-ups, including investigation and charge sheet are weak,” he pointed out. The officer cited the outcome of the 2G scam verdict, in which the court has severely indicted the CBI for poor investigations.
According to the CVC’s annual report, based on the CBI’s investigations, the CVC provided the first stage of advice in 171 investigation reports of CBI. Of them, only 30% resulted in criminal proceedings. A significant 22% of the CBI investigation reports resulted in closure of those cases, while another 33% resulted in only administrative actions such as warnings or caution.
In the case of investigations submitted by Chief Vigilance Officers of various government departments, almost half of them were closed without any action. Only 0.63% of those investigations led to criminal proceedings. Thus, of the total of 2,069 investigation reports examined by CVC in 2017, 45% were closed without any action, while only 3.09% led to criminal proceedings.
A similar drop in the number of punishments given out by the CVC, too, is visible. The total punishments awarded in 2017 was 2,589, against 3,296 in the previous year. In 2015, it was 3,592.
The CVC’s annual report has stated that it has “observed that during the year 2017, there were some significant deviations from the Commission’s advice” by various Ministries. The Ministry of Railways refused to follow its recommendation in six investigations against senior officials. The Ministry of Civil Aviation, too, has a similar track record, including not investigating a former Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Air India, who recruited his OSD’s (Officer on Special Duty) son as a trainee pilot in Air India, and allowed the top official to retire in 2016.
Centre alerts States to possible agitation
Asks them to enhance security
Following messages on social media that a strike has been called by some groups on Tuesday against caste-based reservations in jobs and education, the Home Ministry has advised all States to enhance security and prevent violence during the agitation.
The Ministry also said that the District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police will be personally held responsible for any violence in their area of jurisdiction.
Though no organised group has claimed that it is organising an agitation, the Ministry, acting suo motu on intelligence reports, alerted the States.
It had come under criticism after it was caught napping on April 2 when violence broke out in several parts of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
Before these protests, the Home Ministry had not issued a single advisory to States alerting them of the scale of the violence.
An official of the Ministry said it has issued an advisory to all States to take precautionary measures in view of the calls on social media for a Bharat bandh on April 10 by some groups.
“The MHA has advised the States to beef up security and make appropriate arrangements to prevent any untoward incident, including issue of prohibitory orders, if necessary,” the official said.
The States have been asked to intensify patrolling in all sensitive locations so as to prevent any loss of life or damage to property.
The April 2 nation-wide bandh was called by Dalit groups opposing the alleged dilution of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of of Atrocities) Act by a Supreme Court order.
IPL 2018 | SRH vs RR: Shikhar Dhawan fires Sunrisers Hyderabad to a commanding win
Rajasthan Royals batsmen, barring Sanju Samson, come a cropper
Choosing to bat second, Sunrisers Hyderabad, going with the trend, overhauled Rajasthan Royals’ modest 125 for nine with 25 balls to spare at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Monday night.
Shikhar Dhawan’s blistering 57-ball 78, adorned with 13 boundaries and a big one, featured in the host’s nine-wicket victory.
Dhawan, dropped in the opening over off Dhawal Kulkarni, was certainly bad news for Royals, who, as the plot unfolded, paid dearly for the lapse. The southpaw made the most of that reprieve to mercilessly muscle his way forward.
After Wriddhiman Saha fell prey to Jayadev Unadkat’s angled assault, Dhawan joined hands with Kane Williamson to put the northern side’s attack to the sword. Kulkarni’s frustration would have known no bounds when the Delhi-born dasher’s upper cut sailed into the galleries behind third man.
Williamson drove Unadkat out of the firing line, smacking him past cover point and smiting the strapping speedster over the square-leg hoardings in the same over. The Kiwi made batting look ridiculously easy, but chose to back his partner’s charge.
If K. Gowtham was brought in to contain the damage, there was no respite for Royals from Dhawan as he struck two successive boundaries off the off-spinner. With his ninth hit to the fence, he stroked Ben Stokes through square for his half-century.
Earlier, Royals recouped after the first-over reversal of losing D’Arcy Short to Williamson’s direct hit at the bowler’s end from mid-on.
The confrontation between Billy Stanlake and Sanju Samson (49, 5×4) was a study in contrast, the 6’ 8” speedster spearing the ball down on the diminutive batsman.
Samson dominated the strike in the second-wicket stand with his skipper that yielded 46 off 35 balls. Ajinkya Rahane’s rap of a rising Siddharth Kaul delivery ballooned towards mid-wicket where Rashid Khan ran to his left to grab the catch.
Left with little room to play his explosive shots, Stokes perished early, holing out to long-on Williamson off Stanlake. Samson, meanwhile proved more than a handful, early in his stay patting Bhuvneshwar Kumar past point and smacking the Hyderabad spearhead across the line to the long-on boundary.
Rashid was quite the cowboy in the deep cover region, skidding sideways and forward, Stetson hat in place, to snap up Samson’s slash off Shakib Al Hasan. Samson’s dismissal struck at the very soul of Royals’ batting. Only Rahul Tripathi and Shreyas Gopal logged double figures apart from Samson.
After a brace of boundaries, Tripathi holed out to long-on Manish Pandey off Shakib. Jos Buttler was on the backfoot most of the time, not quite at ease against the wiles of Rashid.
The wicketkeeper-batsman edged to his end, not quite reading the line to find his off-stump pegged back.