Don’t Let Big Fish Go Scot-free for Corruption: PM Asks CBI

Noting that ‘pervasive corruption’ is tarnishing image of country and also discouraging investors, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked the CBI and state anti-corruption officials to aggressively pursue “high-level corruption”.

He was speaking at the opening of conference of  CBI and state anti-corruption bureaux in New Delhi. In his address, Singh asked officials of these agencies to change the prevailing perception that “big fish” escape punishment. Urging them to act against everyone swiftly and without fear, he said that there was no single remedy for fighting corruption.

“High-level corruption should be pursued aggressively. There is a pervasive feeling that while petty cases get tackled quickly, the big fish escape punishment. This has to change,” the PM said.

The Prime Minister observed that quick investigation was important and necessary, but it was not sufficient to bring the culprit to book.

“Trials should be conducted expeditiously and judgments should be delivered quickly. The aim should be to conclude the trial in two years so that punishment could be given to the offenders within a period of three years or so,” Singh said.

He also said that corruption has shattered our image and at the same time discouraged investors.

“The world respects our democracy, our plural and secular values, our independent judiciary…our pursuit of equitable and inclusive growth. But pervasive corruption in our country tarnishes our image.

“It also discourages investors, who expect fair treatment and transparent dealings. As the country grows and integrates with the world economy, corruption continues to be an impediment to harnessing the best of technology and resources,” he told the 17th biennial conference of CBI and state anti-corruption bureaux.

Singh informed that the Government has recently decided to set up 71 new CBI courts and expected them to function as model courts, hold day-to-day proceedings and avoid unnecessary adjournments.

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