July 24, 2018
Aparupa Poddar speaks on The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2018
Thank you Deputy Speaker Sir, for allowing me to speak on The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2018. And I thank my party leader hon Mamata Banerjee for allowing me to speak on the floor of this House. Sir, this is a welcome step. In our country, every law is proven to use as well as misuse. It is made for efficient and effective use for the citizens.
However, when a law is drafted, to ensure that a provision is not misused, it must be very clear to anybody who wants to misuse, they will be prosecuted. But what must be done, that must be classified in the law. It should be very stringently defined in the law. Unfortunately, it is not being done here.
I suggest that collusive bribe-giving, where it can proved that it was not right of the individual in the normal course of governance or other law. But what about the millions of poor and the marginalised people in our country, who we all know is forced to pay a bribe and that is one of the biggest issues when it comes to anti-corruption movement.
The Bill that has many clauses wherein accepting gratification or bribe will lead to imprisonment, which shall be less than three years but may extend to seven years or shall be liable to fine. The Committee gave recommendations that minimum punishment for the habitual offence under the prevention of corruption in 1988 is five years of imprisonment under the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013 and three years of imprisonment in the Bill. But the maximum punishment in both legislations is ten years of imprisonment.
While enhancing punishment for habitual offenders under the Bill, the Ministry of personnel enhances, the minimum punishment from 2 years to 3 years of imprisonment, which may result in inconsistency with the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013. If a common man goes or approaches a Municipal Corporation or Housing Board or licence department for registration of land or any movable properties, it becomes personally difficult for him or her to get the work done unless or until he greases the palm of the lowest employee to the highest employee. This causes a great deal of inconvenience in the general public.
This Bill is mandatory for the competent authority to decide on granting prosecutions sanctions within three months of the complaint made. And one month is extended after consulting the attorney general or advocate general. It is not clear in the Bill what would be the consequence if expiry of the time happens, Sir.
The amendments have been introduced to bring the Act in line with the UN convention against corruption. However, certain provisions of the convention have not been included in the Bill.
Sir, bhrashtachar humare desh ka ek sbse bada samasya hain, jiske liye humare desh ka pragati ruk jaa raha hain. Yeh dimak ki tarah humare desh ko gareeb aur lachaar bana rahi hain. Humare desh mein aaye din berozgar bad rahe hain. 2014 mein yeh sarkar jab aayi thi, toh woh yeh vadha leke aaye the. Lekin aaj bhi berozgari se Bharat ke yuva junj rahe hain. Sarkari agencies koh is tarah use kiye jah raha hain ki yeh agencies rajnitik bipakshiyon ke liye hain ya joh bank ke karoro, lakho rupiya leke videsh bhag jaa rahe hain unke liye hain? Yeh sadan ko abgat karaye.
Aaj hamare desh ki itni buri halat hain ki humare log bank mein paise rakhne se darr rahe hain. Bank mein fraud kiya jaa raha hain. Jo hazaron, lakho rupiya leke videsh bhaag jaa rahe hain unka koi karwai nahi ho raha hain. Ek sadharan kisan se puchiye, ek sadharan student se puchiye. Agar woh educational loan ya kisan loan ke liye bank jate hain toh kis tarah durvyavahar kiya jata hain. Toh is par kya karna chahenge, yeh Mantri ji se pochchna chahungi.
Kaheen kaheen yeh baar baar dekhte hain ki jaanch agency ka chief kaun banenge ye bhi aajkal court taiyar kar de rehe hain. Jaanch agencies ko freedom nahi hain apni karya karne mein. Humare Mukhya Mantri Mamata Banerjee, jo khud corruption ke against hain, aur hamesha har cheez par woh action lete hain, aaj Mamata Banerjee ke sainiko ko kabhi Sarada mein phasaya jata hain (joh CPM ke time mein kiya gaya tha). 2014 mein jo Narada sting footage kiya gaya woh 2016 saal mein humare rajya ke election ke time mein dikhaya gaya. Iska matlab kya hain? Aap corruption ko mitana chahte hain ya corruption ke naam pe rajniti karna chahte hain? Yeh Sadan ko batana bahut zaroori hain.
Aaj pura desh jaan gaya hain 10 saal mein UPA government aur 4 saal mein NDA government corruption rokhne mein vyarth hain. Humare manniya Mukhyamantri Mamata Banerjee, jo saat saal ke upar sarkar ko chala rahi hain, aur joh sabhi ko le kar chal rahi hain, woh ek masiha hain Bangal ke liye, Bangal ke garibon ke liye, Bangal ke kisano ke liye, Bangal ke pichde jatiyon ke liye. Aur aaj hum yeh garv ke sang kehte hain ki Mamata Banerjee zindabad. Humare youth icon Abhishek Banerjee zindabad. Ane wale din mein is Sadan mein bhi sabko kehna padega – woh Bengal ka hi nahi Bharat ka masiha banne ja rahi hain.
Through this Bill, I would also like to request the hon Minister to expedite the speedy disposal of cases, which may come to various courts. The issue that requires consideration is to modify the 1988 Act to provide that prior sanction will have to be obtained for the investigation of a public servant. Such provision will delay the process of inquiring into the corrupt practices of the public servant.
Sir, corruption ek bimari hain aur hazaro lakho log is bimari se junj rahe hain. Mantri sahab kya batayenge aap bimari ko khatam karna chahenge ya bimar logo ko khatam karna chahenge. Agar bimar logo ko khatam karna chahenge toh bimari kabhi khatam nahi hogi.
This law which the House is going to pass should not be misused and should not be a cause of political vendetta. Rather, this Bill should try to eradicate corruption and try to prevent corruption wherever it exists.
With these words, on behalf of All India Trinamool Congress, I thank the leader of our party, and support this Bill with some reservations.