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Report No. 161

2.3. Ill. effects of corruption.-

The ill-effects of corruption have been amply described in the Encyclopedia of Democracy by Seymour Martin Lipset, Vol. 1, p. 310 in the Chapter 'Corruption' as quoted in Secretary, Jaipur Development Authority v. Doubt Mal Jain, (1997) 1 SCC 35, para 15 as follows:-

"15. In the Encyclopedia of Democracy by Seymour Martin Lipset, Vol. 1, p. 310, in the Chapter 'Corruption', it is stated that corruption is an abuse of public resources for private gain. The occasions for political corruption increase when control on the activity of public administrators are fragile and the division of power between political actors and the public bureaucrats, as well as between the Government and the middleman, is unclear. It is difficult to discover and punish cases of corruption. Research has shown that political corruption tends to be more widespread in authoritarian or totalitarian regimes and when public opinion and the press are unable to denounce corruption. Corruption develops because of confusion about the borders between State and society and between traditional and modern values.

It can be expected to grow during phases of transition. Corruption should disappear in modern stable democratic societies. Instead, it is growing. Since State intervention in economic and social life has increased the occasions for political corruption, new technologies have increased the cost of electoral campaigns and the professionalisation of political careers has increased the number of those who have to make a living from politics rather than living for politics. Corruption has not disappeared.

Corruption has dangerous consequences for politics. Although political corruption is more widespread in non-democratic regimes, it is particularly dangerous for democracy because it undermines two of the major principles on which democracies are based; the equality of citizens' rights and the transparency of the political decision-making process. Bribes open the way for access to the State for those who are willing to pay and can afford the price. The situation may leave non-corrupt citizens with the belief that one 'counts' only if one has the right personal contacts with those who hold power.

Because of its illegal nature, corruption increases the range of public decisions that are made in secrecy. It was suggested that internal controls on public bureaucracies through administrative controls and accounting procedures as well as ombudsman systems for public complaints, are remedies to control political corruption. The rule of code of conduct for political executives, public servants and private entrepreneurs, emphasising merit and regulated system of appointment in State bureaucracy and stimulating price in public service, would generate remedies for political corruption."

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