It comes as no surprise that Delhi Police has come out tops in the corruption stakes, according to a report released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Coming close on the heels of the recent arrest of constable Arvind Dabbas in the Arun Jaitley phone tapping case, it only confirms the impression carried by most Delhiwallas (and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit). After Dabbas was nabbed it was revealed that he had a flourishing business he owns a Maruti agency and a real estate company and was proud of his fleet of expensive cars and bikes. And, curiously, he had been on leave for more than a year! A similar example of cops gone ‘rogue’ comes from Bihar, where another cop Mohammed Yunus had allegedly amassed assets worth more than Rs 50 crore, including a cinema hall and a hotel. A raid on his premises led to the seizure of Rs. 61 lakhs in cash! Another reason to call for urgent police reforms.
A major shift
By the time you read this, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) may have issued a notification announcing the beginning of the civil service exam process for 2013. But more than that, starting this year there will be radical changes in the examination system, a much-delayed reform that has now been cleared by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. For one, those in the know say, that optional paper will be replaced with two compulsory papers. This and other changes in selection pattern apparently were recommended by a panel headed by former UGC Chairman Arun Nigvekar in 2011. The PMO is believed to be very keen that the reforms be implemented this year itself, which perhaps explains why the UPSC failed to put out the notice on February 2, as expected.
Cracking down on graft
Having witnessed several high-profile corruption scandals involving public servants, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan is keen to set matters right. Prosecuting tainted Government officials is a long-drawn and often futile process due to delays in obtaining the necessary sanctions to prosecute. The State Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) currently has 42 applications for prosecution of Class I and Class II officers pending, besides more than 70 applications for lower-rung officials. That is now going to change. Maharashtra has now become the second State after Delhi to implement revise the guidelines for speeding up the prosecution of babus slapped with corruption charges. Unfortunately, the Government has left out Ministers from the ambit of the revised guidelines, making many wonder how effective the new rules will be. Still, the Government has now decided on a time-bound (maximum three months) for sanction to prosecute babus facing corruption charges. Will it work?