Asian Centre for Human Rights urged to focus on lack of accountability, not Hazare's fast

New Delhi, Aug 23 (ANI): The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) has urged the civil society organizations to focus on the lack of accountability for corruption rather than fast by Anna Hazare who has been playing brinkmanship with the government.

"Contrary to the assertion of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh there is no single solution to corruption, accountability is the only solution to corruption. However, successive governments have provided impunity to corruption and other human rights violations through the regime of prior sanction for prosecution of the accused," said Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.

He said though corruption has multiplied since liberalisation of the Indian economy in 1990s, the number of cases registered by the CBI have been decreasing each year.

"The abysmal rate of prior sanction given for prosecution vis-a-vis number of cases against corruption registered is scandalous. The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), country's main anti-corruption body, registered 77,925 cases during 1996-2009 but the government has given sanction for prosecution only in 1,348 cases i.e. in 1.73 per cent of the registered cases," he added.

He further said that the UPA government seeks to provide the same impunity under Sections 50 and 51 of the Draft Lok Pal Bill 2011 by making false complaints punishable with "imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than two years but which may extend to five years and with fine which shall not be less than twenty five thousand rupees but which may extend to two lakh rupees".

"These provisions have been actually lifted from Sections 3(viii) and 3(ix) of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. Nothing could be more ironical than the government of India providing the same protection to the public servants who exercise the sovereign powers of the State as provided to the most down-trodden and oppressed class in the society. If such provisions are allowed to be

adopted, less number of cases of corruption will be filed than current ones being filed under the existing Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. These provisions would only promote further corruption," he added.

ACHR also the government to take necessary measures to break the fast by Hazare and also called upon Hazare to show necessary flexibility for an effective Lok Pal Bill. (ANI)