26 Aug : Asking CBI and state anti-corruption officials to aggressively pursue “high level corruption”, PM Manmohan Singh has said that the perception of “big fish” escape punishment must change and they should act swiftly and without fear.
Opening a conference of CBI and state anti-corruption bureaux in New Delhi, Dr. Singh said that there was no single remedy for fighting corruption which has to be combated at many levels, one of which was making existing systems less discretionary.
“High-level corruption should be pursued aggressively. There is a pervasive feeling that while petty cases get tackled quickly, the big fish escape punishment. This has to change,” Singh said.
Dr. Singh said that while quick investigation was important and necessary, it was not sufficient to bring the guilty to book.”Trials should be conducted expeditiously and judgements delivered quickly. To begin with the aim should be to conclude the trial in two years so that punishment could be given to the offenders within a period of three years or so,” he said.Dr. Singh said the government has recently decided to set up 71 new CBI courts and expected them to function as model courts, hold day-to-day proceedings and avoid unnecessary adjournments.
The Prime Minister said the world respects Indian democracy, its plural and secular values, independent judiciary, free press, its commitment to freedom and peace and its pursuit of equitable and inclusive growth.
“But pervasive corruption in our country tarnishes our image. It also discourages investors, who expect fair treatment and transparent dealings. As the country grows and integrates with the world economy, corruption continues to be an impediment to harnessing the best technology and resources,” he said.