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Combating Corruption

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  27 May 2017 12:00 AM GMT

Ever since the newly elected State government came to power, people have got used to the steps it has initiated in order to combat corruption. To most people, its crusade against corruption has appeared to be its sole preoccupation. What is encouraging is the kind of success that the government has achieved in combating corruption. Not counting the many individual instances of engineers, bureaucrats and other government employees found guilty of corrupt practices that has led to standards of living far beyond what their known sources of income would support, there have been trials and convictions of even groups and organizations like the North Cachar Autonomous District Council that have had several members neck-deep in graft. A special court of the NIA recently gave its historic verdict on 15 members of the Council involved in both corrupt and anti-tiol activities. Corruption is rampant in India mainly because of the law’s delay. Several crimil cases and appeals against them have taken as long as 14 or 15 years for a fil verdict. Against this background, the conviction of the 15 accused is a welcome development in terms of the sentences awarded. The minimum prison term for any of the accused has been eight years, and the prison terms have been supplemented by hefty fines of Rs 25,000 each. The ibility to pay the fines would lead to an additiol five years in prison. Three of the accused—Niranjan Hojai, Jewel Garlosa and Mohit Hojai—have been sentenced to life imprisonment, while the main culprit, H.R.Khan, helping many others to siphon off huge sums of public money, has been sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment in one case and 12 years in another case. What does make a major difference from action against corruption in the past is that convictions have been faster and far more stringent. The State government could also decide to put about 100 crimil cases on the fast track, ensure verdicts and punishment within two months and confiscation of property acquired through bribery and other corrupt practices. However, the government needs to concentrate on development projects too. Corruption is a general climate that should not have been there. Action against corruption is a kind of course correction to get back to the right climate. Any government needs a whole lot of development projects to excel.

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