THE INDIA Rejuvenation Initiative (IRI) has shot off a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi demanding constitution of an ‘Integrity Commission’ to control rampant corruption in the high places in bureaucracy and public life.
IRI coordinator and principal secretary (national integration) Vijay Shankar Pandey said letter written by former Comptroller and Auditor General VK Shunglu had laid emphasis on launching vigorous drive to weed out corruption. The IRI has written to Sonia Gandhi that a group of concerned citizens had come together with the sole objective of restoring probity in public life in the country.
The IRI headed by former chief justice of India RC Lahoti had earlier written a letter to the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in this connection. The IRI said a mechanism like an Integrity Commission could verify returns of all those who occupied or had been occupying high public office on a “fast track manner”.
“You will appreciate that our existing anti-corruption institutions have not borne the desired results to curb the malady,” Shunglu wrote to Gandhi. He said by focusing on verification of returns of assets filed by public servants, it was proposed to focus on the outcome of corruption rather than the process of corruption. He said if ‘returns of assets’ of public servants were made public and information invited from common citizens to crosscheck their veracity, “black sheep” would get easily identified. He said it would instill requisite degree of confidence in the public and help in cleaning the corrupt government apparatus.
He said, “It is high time that the country sends out a strong signal that it really believes in pursuing the Prime Minister’s oft repeated stress on ‘zero tolerance’ to corruption”.