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Anti-Corruption Drive: Assam to follow Bihar Government’s Policy against Corruption

Corruption

Tougher Act against corruption

STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Aug 4: In order to take its avowed stand of ‘zero tolerance against corruption’ a few steps forward, Dispur is planning to enact a tougher law against corruption in line with the Bihar Special Courts Act, 2009.

The Bihar Special Courts Act, 2009 enables the government to attach and confiscate property of a corrupt government servant even when the trial or probe is underway, if the authorized officer concludes that the acquisition of the property was the result of the offence committed by the accused.

This government has an avowed stand of zero tolerance against corruption. What is followed in Assam is sealing of property of corrupt officials when corruption cases are tried against them.
The proposed Act, if enacted, is sure to give investigators more teeth in their investigations of scams and corruption cases in the State.

At present many corruption cases and scams, including the cash-for-job scam in the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC), have been under investigations. This apart, many officers were caught red-handed while accepting bribes in the State in the recent past. The investigations have led to the arrest of a large number of officers at various levels in the State. Most of the arrested and accused officers have property in the State and also outside. There are allegations that most of such property was amassed with ill-gotten wealth. However, in the absence of any tougher Act, Dispur is handicapped in seizing such ill-gotten wealth even if they are sealed.
Talking to this reporter, a top-level officer in the State Home Department said: “The proposed Act is in the pipeline in the department. Now we’re studying the Bihar Special Courts Act, 2009 as a prototype of the proposed Act in Assam.”