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Report No. 230

Anti-corruption

1.33 Corruption in reference to public office has been defined as the abuse of power for purposes of private gain.

1.34 In public affairs, there often arises a conflict between private wealth and public power. This is often the result of selfishness and greed. Mahatma Gandhi said that the earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not enough to satisfy every man's greed. The conflict needs to be mediated upon. Institutions that fail to mediate between private wealth and public power run the risk of becoming dysfunctional and trapped by wealthy interests. Corruption is one symptom of such failure whereby personal interests overcome public goals.

1.35 Fighting corruption is one of the facets of promoting good governance. But governance issues are far much broader than anticorruption alone. For example, a public officer may be honest and yet inefficient or incompetent. Efforts to promote good governance must therefore be broader than anti-corruption campaigns.

1.36 Article 14 of the 'Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers' adopted by the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, Havana, Cuba, in 1990 states:

"Lawyers, in protecting the rights of their clients and in promoting the cause of justice, shall seek to uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms recognized by national and international law and shall at all time act freely and diligently in accordance with the law and recognized standards and ethics of the legal profession."

1.37 Continuing professional development is necessary for all legal practitioners, State law officers and judicial officers to improve and sustain their proficiency. There should be put in place mechanism for refresher courses and attendance at them as a pre-condition for renewal of practising certificates for advocates.

1.38 The Indian Constitution is the source of every law that was and is prevalent in our society. The Constitution guarantees to all Indian citizens equal protection of public as well as personal rights. But these rights are of no avail if an individual has no means to get them enforced. 20The enforcement of the rights has to be through the courts, but judicial procedure is very complex, costly and dilatory putting the poor at a distance from justice.

1.39 The Britishers established the current pattern of legal system present in India today, after the establishment of the English rule in the country. In the year 1857, the first step was taken in the direction of imparting formal legal education in the country. The Britishers began enacting statutes, after the revolt of 1857, which resulted in the introduction of a legal system that was moulded along the lines of the legal system then prevailing in the United Kingdom with an exception to laws pertaining to religious denominations in India.



Reforms in the Judiciary - Some Suggestions Back




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