Ridding the public domain of corruption and criminality may be a laudable goal, but it’s doubtful whether a Lokpal would succeed in reforming the system, a renowned engineer says.
B. Rajaram, a former managing director of Konkan Railway, made these observations while drawing the attention of the Supreme Court and the Andhra Pradesh High Court to the dire necessity of reforms in public life vide a letter, a copy of which is available.
“In spite of Anna Hazare’s crusade to cleanse public life, political parties still fielded as many as 795 candidates with criminal backgrounds, out of a total of 2,195, in the just concluded Uttar Pradesh polls,” Rajaram told from Hyderabad, quoting a report of the Association for Democratic Reforms and Election Watch.
The letter drafted by Rajaram said the only bulwark against executive excesses, the judicial process, is also being compromised by inordinate delays in the delivery of justice, thanks to the veil of secrecy over the decision-making process, especially after an order has been made public.
This pernicious practice, a leftover of the British Raj to deny Indians justice, lies at the root of our current problems, Rajaram, a product of IIT-Kharagpur, wrote.
Rajaram served Indian Railways for nearly 40 years in senior administrative and technical capacities and has been associated with a number of reforms and inventions.
His letter pleaded for placing relevant files in the public domain after the passage of orders.
“This way justice is assured in real time and not delayed for years and in reality denied. Any aggrieved party can move the court against the implementation of the order, if it negates the very purpose for which it is intended,” Rajaram’s letter said.
By opting to keep files secret, the nation has paid a really heavy price in all the scams which blew the lid off. It is hurting the very image of the respected icons of services and parliament too, the letter said.
Even if an RTI application is filed, it may not be able to deter wrongdoing but has endangered the lives of activists, while bloating the size of bureaucracy. Public servants draft answers that could obfuscate rather than clarify an issue, wrote Rajaram.