In India, corruption is the foremost issue that adversely affects its economy. According to a study conducted by the Transparency International in 2005, more than 62% of Indians had firsthand experience of paying bribes or influence peddling to get jobs done in public offices successfully.
As far as India’s rank in the global corruption perception index is concerned, it remained at 94, which covered 177 countries. Many of the Indian politicians have been experiencing the charges of corruption. It is a palpable veracity that almost every politician is a millionaire. Charges of disproportionate of assets have been faced by many prominent leaders in India.
In the most recent case of Jayalalithaa, the just quit Chief Minister of Tamilnadu, the special judge John Michael Cunha held her guilty of amassing wealth disproportionate to known sources of her income under Sections 109 and 120 (b) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, said Special Public Prosecutor G Bhavani Singh. The Rs 66.65 cr assets case dates back to Jayalalithaa’s first term as the Chief Minister, from 1991 to 1996. It was filed before a special court in Chennai in 1997 by the Tamil Nadu’s Department of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC).
Definitely, this verdict will have an impact over other similar cases, say for example YS Jagan’s disproportionate of assets (DA) case. The case against Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, the Chief of YSR Congress Party and the leader of opposition in the Andhra Pradesh state assembly, relates to alleged investments running into a huge sum made by various private firms and individuals in Jagan’s businesses, as part of “quid pro quo” arrangement, in exchange of alleged favours by the then Chief Minister of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh Late YS Rajasekhara Reddy. The First charge sheet was filed against Jagan and 12 others on March 31, 2012 in the issue relating to allotment of land to the tune of 75 acres each to M/s Hetero Group of companies and M/s Aurobindo group to the quid-pro-quo to the investment made by these companies to the tune of Rs 29.5 crores into the companies of YS Jagan. CBI has accused Jagan of amassing huge wealth through illegal means by misusing the office of his father YSR, when he was the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh between 2004 and 2009.
In a similar vein, Vishwanath Chaturvedi, an advocate filed a PIL in November 2005 seeking a probe into the alleged illegal wealth amassed by the former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Mulayam Singh Yadav and his family members including his son Akhilesh Yadav, the present Chief Minister of U.P., and daughter in law Dimple Yadav. The Supreme Court on March 1, 2007 had directed the CBI to inquire into the same.
However, the case of former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Mayawati’s case is different. Her assets amount to millions of dollars, with several properties to her name. During the assessment year 2007-08, Mayawati paid an income tax of INR 26 crore, ranking among the top 20 taxpayers in the country. Earlier the CBI filed a case against her for owning assets disproportionate to her known sources of income. Mayawati described the CBI investigation against her as illegal and her party said that her income comes from gifts and small contributions made by party workers and supporters.
Whatsoever may be the case, the verdict that has come in Jayalalithaa’s case definitely gives the impression that the leaders involved in corruption may get shielded for sometime but not forever.