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Bihar?s Lancelot on crusade

Whistleblowers come in all shades. Crusaders, white-collared, blue-collared and in uniform, writes Anil Kumar.

india Updated: Mar 04, 2006 02:30 IST
Anil Kumar

Whistleblowers come in all shades. Crusaders, white-collared, blue-collared and in uniform. But he is different. Meet Dilip Kumar Churiwal, president of the Hajipur Industries Association, who has trained his guns on corruption in babudom.

The graft warrior has filed a public interest litigation in the high court demanding that dossiers on bureaucrats — making their first foray into the elite services — be posted on the government website.

The spread would have to include information on their assets, money spent on their children’s education, annual income and other related expenses.

Justifying his move, he said senior members of the All India Services were misusing their powers to amass wealth at the cost of the public and of “good governance”. He said: “It is a disturbing trend as they are supposed to facilitate and execute policies of the elected executive without fear or favour.” The industrialist said that in his right as a tax-paying citizen, he had slapped legal notices on the entire power hierarchy — right from the President to the DGP — to ensure proper implementation of the provisions of Rule 16 of the All India Service (Conduct) Rules, 1968 in February. Nearly a month on, he decided to move court.

Churiwal has done his homework well. According to him, once the rule comes into effect and updated information on bureaucracy is posted on the public domain, it would go a long way in reining in corruption in high places. “It would instill a sense of responsibility in the babus, make them accountable and drive the fear of god in them.”

The bureaucracy, contends the petitioner, has not only corrupted the entire system but also thrown a spanner in successive governments’ endeavours to implement people-friendly micro schemes.

But can one tar all babus with the same brush? “There are a few good men in the bureaucracy. The system takes a toll on all,” he said. And the statement is almost prophetic in a state like Bihar.

First Published: Mar 04, 2006 02:30 IST