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Odisha aims at inculcating principle of zero tolerance towards corruption: CM Naveen Patnaik

 

Monday June 09, 2014

Odisha, Naveen Patnaik, Corruption, Vigilance Awareness Week  
 

"While emphasising upon his claim that the present Government in Odisha is all set to fight out the menace of corruption, Chief Minister said that the Odisha Government makes no compromise in maintaining the rule of law and in maintaining integrity in public life. It has been the unrelenting policy to diligently uphold the Rule of Law in Odisha and maintain the functional independence of the Law Enforcement Agencies.

 

HNF Correspondent

 
 

In spite of number of allegations from different quarters about increasing corruption in public life and in functioning of bureaucracy in Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said that his government is all set to inculcate the principle of zero tolerance towards corruption and expressed satisfaction over the works done by his government so far.

While addressing in the Vigilance Awareness Week celebration, Chief Minister of Odisha hinted upon the works of the Odisha Vigilance Department in curbing corruption saying that “Last year, the Department has registered 440 criminal cases and has launched the prosecution against 489 public servants.”

 

About the steps taken by the government in strengthening Vigilance Department, Naveen Patnaik said, “Our Government has, over the years, greatly strengthened the Vigilance Department by creating fully functional Vigilance Unit Offices in each district and a new Vigilance Division in the tribal district of Koraput.” All these steps are meant to empower common people with increased accessibility at the district level and make it easier for the common man to lodge a complaint against corrupt public servants within the district itself and invoke the process of law, said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

In order to facilitate disposal of cases, the Chief Minister said, “Government has also strengthened the criminal justice system for the Vigilance Department and created eight new Special Judge (Vigilance) Courts at Balasore, Bolangir, Cuttack, Bhawanipatna, Koraput, Keonjhar, Phulbani and third Special Judge (Vigilance) Court at Bhubaneswar to exclusively try corruption cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.” In return, added CM Naveen Patnaik, “the number of corruption cases being disposed of through trial has shown a steady increased.  265 corruption cases were disposed of in 2011 as compared to 222 cases in 2010 and 154 cases in 2009 – an increase of 72 percent over the past 2 years. During the past 3 years, 276 public servants have been convicted in Court of Law, which is a major step towards cleansing public life.”

While emphasising upon his claim that the present Government in Odisha is all set to fight out the menace of corruption, Chief Minister said, “Our Government makes no compromise in maintaining the rule of law and in maintaining integrity in public life. It has been our unrelenting policy to diligently uphold the Rule of Law and maintain the functional independence of the Law Enforcement Agencies.”

Highlighting the enactment of ‘Special Courts Act’ as a radical step in direction of fighting corruption through quick disposal of corruption cases against persons holding high political and public offices, Naveen Patnaik said, “first in the country to enact a Special Act ‘the Odisha Special Courts Act’ towards achieving the goal.  Under the aegis of the Act, two Special Courts have been established at Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.”  So far 103 cases of corruption have been transferred to these courts for expeditious trial and 10 accused persons holding high public offices have been convicted, said Naveen Patnaik.

In order to manifestly increase the efficacy of the prosecution, Chief Minister said, “we have made special provisions under the Odisha Special Courts Act to expeditiously confiscate the tainted properties of the accused persons that were acquired by corrupt means. Two Courts of Authorised Officers have been set up and 60 confiscation proceedings have been instituted by the state Government under this Act.”

Naveen also expressed his satisfaction over the steps taken by the government saying that “It is a matter of satisfaction that our pioneering efforts have received due recognition and that other State Governments have enacted similar Acts based on the Odisha Special Courts Act.”

Citing that Public Procurement is another area where the present Government has introduced several innovative reforms to curb corruption, Naveen Patnaik said, “The State Government has utilized the tools of transparency and accountability for promoting integrity and preventing corruption in public procurement. Innovative methods like e-procurement and other allied tools based on Information Technology have greatly promoted the goals of transparency.”

Wishing that the awareness week is to come out successful in spreading the messages of honesty and integrity as the universal way of life, Naveen said that it also would go a long way in ‘inculcating the principle of zero tolerance towards corruption in our lives.’

Loksabha MP Dr Prasanna Kumar Patsani appreciated the initiatives taken by the state government to root out corruption while the Chief Secretary of Odisha, Bijay Kumar Patnaik, emphasized upon the importance of social awareness and systemic improvement to curb corruption.

 
 

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