Jail For Very Corrupt VIP Politicians and Babus Now A Distinct Possibility?

The DA case judgment against JJ, VKS & family allows the common man to sue Politicians & Babus with their families suspected of amassing illegal wealth

Kin of the corrupt can aslo face jail term thanks to The DA case judgment
Kin of the corrupt can aslo face jail term thanks to The DA case judgment. Swamy graphic courtesy Indian Express

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he two-judge bench of Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy of the Supreme Court held in the Sasikala (originally called the Jayalalithaa and 3 others’ case, but her name was deleted due to her death before the judgment) that, in Disproportionate Assets (DA) cases, under the Prevention of Corruption Act,  the burden of proving innocence rests with the accused. This, according to Mr. R.K. Raghavan, former CBI Director, is an unusual dilution of a hitherto-held fundamental principle of law, namely that the onus of proof of guilt is on prosecution. He says, “without this facility in law, many of our VIP offenders would go scot-free”.

It has the potential to put behind bars, thousands of very corrupt politicians and babus (including very high profile ones).

The import of this interpretation has perhaps not been understood fully by anyone, be it politicians, babus or the general public. This is as much of a landmark event (if not more) as the enactment of the RTI Act, MNREGA Act etc, which have created very major impacts on the society. It has the potential to put behind bars, thousands of very corrupt politicians and babus (including very high profile ones).

This power is not only in the hands of the Government, but also with the civil society, as demonstrated by Dr. Swamy (even without the benefit of such a judgment, to start with).

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]L[/dropcap]et’s try to link this judgment with demonetization and see what we have. There are official reports that 18 lakh people have deposited suspiciously large amounts of demonetised cash into their bank accounts post-demonetization. Chances of the very same people having large chunks of other forms of unaccounted wealth are also high. A significant % of these people are likely to be politicians and babus, and their unaccounted wealth could substantially be from corruption. So, the demonetization data available with the Government is likely to include lakhs of public servants with suspected disproportionate assets which the Government can easily investigate by correlating with other data like company shareholdings, FDs, share and mutual fund investments, unauthorised holding of assets of any kind abroad, etc. The guilty may not be able to prove their innocence where their level of corruption is very high, as it is difficult to even falsely account for large accounts of black money.

Even the general public (including you and me) can approach the courts with information of suspected disproportionate assets…

Till this SC judgment, it would have been a Herculean task for the Government to prove DA cases against corrupt public servants, without solid evidence, merely based on suspicion. But now, armed with this DA case judgment, the Government can put the onus of proving the source of their income on these public servants. The larger the disproportionate assets, the higher are the chances of success of conviction because it will be that much more difficult to prove the source income for large volumes of assets.

Not just that. Even the general public (including you and me) can approach the courts with information of suspected disproportionate assets (including information we may have obtained through public documents like filing of nominations for elections, or information we may be able to obtain through RTI applications) owned by politicians (say, our MLAs and MPs) and babus (say, officials who want bribes from us), in service or retired.

There’s another positive twist to the tale. Based on the Sasikala case, the Government (or we as the case may be) can also ask the people who live with the public servants (regardless of whether they are their relatives or not) to prove their source of income, which makes it tougher for the public servants to hide their corrupt income through such people as their benami.

Will action against babus lead to a huge vacuum in national and state bureaucracy? It could, but the way out is not putting up with the corrupt forever. Instead, the Government can let go of corrupt bureaucracy and set up a stream parallel to IAS, consisting of SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) in different realms, thus giving the Central and State Governments, two alternative streams of officials to choose from. This will keep both the Generalist (IAS) and Specialist streams in check and prevent formation of cosy-clubs among bureaucracy, who sabotage any efforts to cleanse the system, as the Governments can’t run the country/ states without bureaucracy.

Can this lead to witch hunting? If merely sending a notice to a suspect public servant (present or past) and asking him/ her to show proof of assets and liabilities, based on prima facie information (like huge deposits of demonetised currency), is witch hunting, it is better done in national interest. Can this lead to Inspector Raj? Surely it can, which won’t benefit the Government either.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he Government should come up with reasonably fool-proof safeguards against witch hunt by the ruling party and harassment by babus. An indicative set of suggestions for the same are outlined in the article: How To Maximize The Gains of Demonetization ( https://www.pgurus.com/how-to-maximize-the-gains-of-demonetization/ )

Since much of the ground rules for such cases have been established in the Jayalalithaa/ Sasikala case, such cases need not take too long in the courts, in future.

After the RTI Act was enacted, many NGOs started popularizing it, which led to effective use of RTI Act by very ordinary people, and this had lead to public good. Similarly, civil society should popularise this SC judgment and make sure that people understand its potential; this can lead to cleansing of Governments and all their organs, at the Central and State levels, and even the judiciary.

It is easy to build a whistleblower app through which people can report such cases with Aadhar based authentication. Since much of the ground rules for such cases have been established in the Jayalalithaa/ Sasikala case, such cases need not take too long in the courts, in future. It may even be a good idea to set up separate courts for this purpose and entrust the task of bringing to book, corrupt Government servants (including politicians, bureaucrats, judiciary, etc) to Dr. Swamy, if he agrees.

Note:
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

Ganesan Subramanian

An Engineer-entrepreneur and Africa Business Consultant, Ganesan has many suggestions for the Government and sees the need for the Govt to tap the ideas of its people to perform to its potential.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Great work Swamy & PGURUS Team for exposing all VVIP Corrupt politicians
    Please also investigate the Cash4Votes scam where highly corrupt Andhra CM N Chandrababu Naidu was caught red handed while his party MLA Revanth was horse trading for opposition party’s MLA’s support in MLC Elections in Telangana for 5 crores with 50 lakes as advance. All this was caught red handed by Telangana ACB and Naidu’s voice was caught on a tape verified as Authentic by Forensic Labs..Supreme Court has finally given notices to him but he’s taking it light..saying he’s seen many such cases and that none can arrest him ..

    In a lower Court he stated that case against him be quashed as bribing an MLA for his support doesn’t come under corruption

    Such a shameless person he is..

    In spite of all this he’s continuing his corruption now under the new propaganda of building “world class” capital in Amaravati near Guntur.

    He now is

  2. Very nice point that law puts the onus on the guilty to prove innocense. However the fact that case took 20 yrs does not seem practical for a common man to fight the case – well Dr.Swamy is a genius. What could be done however is if there is an army of lawyers like dr.Swamy and his assistant Mr.Ishkaran , people can refer to them.

  3. Nice article by Mr. Ganesan. Indeed the JJ VKS judgement gives us hope that the corrupt babus and netas can be punished. While I disagree with most of Mr. Swamy’s views, need to give him credit for this landmark judgement.

  4. @ SIVA you are a 24 carat IDIOT. Explain fake PM Modi? This is a great democracy and anybody can become a leader. Only thing is he should not be dumb like you who cant realize the good things happening all around. All my salute to PM Modi for his decisions and actions and doing his part to make this country a better place to live.

  5. India is infested with idiots lk u. Su Sa is an opportunist who has switched many sides and ditched many and generally sides where the wind blows. He is the culprit who brought down ABV govt conniving with JJ & SG. He now adorns strong Hindutuva Garb . He cannot win even a panchayat ward election anywhere in India.

    • The article doesn’t discuss Dr. Swamy, the politician or the Hindutva champion. It is only about Dr. Swamy’s success in securing such a landmark judgment after years of presistent efforts, whereby:
      (i) the onus of proof of source of income has now been shifted to the accused,
      (ii) even the relatives of the accused can be implicated with adequate proof,
      (iii) such cases can be filed even by anyone, not nesessarily the Governments, and
      (iv) such cases, in future, could be decided expeditiously, in view of the substantive issues settled in this judgment.
      So, if you disagree with any of the points made in this article, please feel free to comment.

    • You got your facts wrong. It is OK to disagree but do it with sufficient facts. Don’t insult someone’s intelligence. You have a point to make, do so with clarity, precision and facts.

    • In your narrow view winning a panchayat or other elections is the only acid test? Would love to read anything you have written to decipher your psychosis. Swamy was a professor at Harward till Sonia Gandhi managed to dislodge him. Say even two pointers on the recent Supreme Court observation that Su Sa has reported. So bitterly personal you are getting Mister. What is your standing on issues he cares to elucidate from time to time. Are you a congressee loser?

  6. All the questions asked in this article can be a reality if people like DrSwamy at the helm unlike our fake PM Modi.This guy came to power on the stellar work of Drswamy and is now fooling the public pussy footing around with lutyn mafia tagging along jaitley as their representative.ultimately a chaiwallah will be a chaiwallah as he doesn’t have education or understanding that 282 is a magic figure very rarely given to an individual or a party because people don’t vote this decisively unless they are in great collective anger and disgust against crooks which congress has turned out to be.we can all gloat over the SC verdict but then the reality is the guys manning our courts have waddled 20 long years helping the crooks amass greater wealth and the only way this can get shortened if we have some one come like DrSwamy come at the top as PM, wield a broom to remove scums from bureaucracy and also wield a broom to clear cobwebs hanging around judiciary which takes ages to come to judgement.This country badly needs honesty,discipline and above all a cane to be used at the sumptuous posterior of high and mighty to behave responsible.

  7. Ganesan has shared a valid point. A case of reference makes things easier for next cases of similar nature. If we really want to clean out Indian corruption, these kind of judgements are must. They also build trust among public in judiciary systems. It is going to take good deal of time to cleansing operations to be effective, however, such judgement would definitely a welcome development.

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