UPA Indicted! Long live our Supreme Court!

  • Created on Friday, 03 February 2012 21:38
  • Published on Thursday, 02 February 2012 19:00
  • Written by Punyatma Sharan, Founder/CEO - PolityIndia.Com, has a BA (Political Science) from India and MBA (Finance) from USA.

slogansThe picture is a true depiction of the mentality of most of our politicians.

There are very few good ones but their existence in our political structure is like looking for a needle in a haystack. There might be a lot of claimants for the crown of corruption among our political parties but the UPA government led by the Congress party is undoubtedly the most deserving and without any prejudice, should be declared as the most corrupt government in the political history of India. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the UPA government is the gateway and also the ground zero of political corruption. The Congress party talking about political honesty is like holding a drink in one hand and giving a speech on prohibition.

Our country would forever be indebted to Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly of the Supreme Court who on Thursday cancelled 122 mobile network licenses issued after January 10, 2008. The case came before the Supreme Court as a result of a writ petition filed by Dr Subramanian Swamy. The companies affected include some of the country's biggest telecom players. Licenses had been issued by A Raja during his infamous tenure as Telecom Minister. This came to be known as 2G scam which resulted in a loss of  Rs.1.76 lakh crore to the public exchequer and led to the arrest of some people including A Raja. When the politicians are failing the country, the judiciary, once again, rose to the occasion and tried to set things right. I have said this so many times in the past and I feel that the Indian public has lost confidence in all government institutions except the Supreme Court. I have also expressed my confidence in the apex court in one of my articles Judicial Activism Saved India.
There is no doubt that the judgement has indicted the UPA government. The Supreme Court's decision to cancel 122 telecom licenses issued in 2008 by A Raja has shattered the entire credibility of the decision-making process of this government. The Supreme Court described the process followed by A Raja as unconstitutional and arbitrary. A Raja chose not to auction spectrum and licenses. Instead, he followed a first-come-first-serve policy. There is a fundamental flaw in the principle of first-come-first-served in as much as it involves an element of pure chance or accident. In matters involving award of contracts or grant of licence or permission to use public property, the invocation of first-come-first-served principle has inherently dangerous implications. Any person who has access to power corridor at the highest or the lowest level may be able to obtain information from the Government files or the files of the agency/instrumentality of the State that a particular public property or asset is likely to be disposed of or a contract is likely to be awarded or a licence or permission would be given. He would immediately make an application and would become entitled to stand first in the queue at the cost of all others who may have a better claim.

This time the Supreme Court of India came to the rescue of public money and cancelled the licences given out by A Raja and his cohorts. Even though we have the utmost regard, we cannot depend on the the apex court to fix things for us all the time. Our parliamentarians are failing the country and they are not doing things which they are elected to do and supposed to do. Why can't the Indian political system attract 788 people to be members of both houses of parliament (543 for Lok Sabha and 245 for Rajya Sabha) who can do their work honestly, efficiently and diligently? Is this asking for too much? It is a miniscule fraction of our population of 1.3 billion people. When would this pathetic saga of our politicians sucking the oxygen out of the public good would end? Ours is not a democracy in its infancy...we are a 60+ year old democracy and any kind of irresponsible and corrupt behaviour on the part of the politicians should not only be criticised and discussed in private, it should be publicly condemned by us in no uncertain terms. They have to be told that it is a country of the people, for the people and by the people and not of the politicians, for the politicians and by the politicians. The molestation of our electorate and the rape of our democracy must stop. Our political leaders are suffering from the failure of imagination to take the country to the next level. 

If it was left to our politicians, we would be having the same discussion even after another 20 years. The country is going through the Assembly election process in five states. According to ADR India, a watchdog for the election process, all the political parties have given tickets to people with criminal background. I wrote an article sometime back where I suggested that we should Support The Right Candidate And Not The Party. I feel that if all the elected candidates are good and if the product mix is intelligent, honest and efficient, the chances are very high that whatever they would decide to do would be good for the country. We the public, have to be proactive and control the destiny of our country ourselves. I am also in favour of capital punishment for the politicians involved in scams like 2G and CWG. Most of them are very thick skinned with not an iota of conscience and morality and fear of capital punishment would act as a deterrent.

As India moves towards global power status, it must undertake some very serious steps that would resolve this key dilemma and pave the way for the emergence of a parliament with integrity that would command the respect of people at home and abroad. The thinking of our elected representatives has to resonate with the thinking of the public. We do not have any other option.


# K Prabhakar 2012-02-03 22:34
Punyatma, a very well written and balanced article. Judiciary in India has played a very important role and helped in changing the history of the Country, Justice Sinha of Allahabad High Court's one judgement changed the destiny of the Country and 75 Emergency was the result. I feel as of today, this is the only institution which has credibility in Country as all others including Legislature(cou rtesy political class), Executive(court esy bureaucrats) & the fourth estate (courtesy journalists) have lost it long time back. But the larger question is how can you run a Country on only one pillar and for how long? Let us find out solutions on asap basis to take our Country forward. God bless India.
# Atul Shastri 2012-02-04 17:27
You have hit the nail on the head. I have totally lost confidence in all institutions except the Supreme Court.
# Kalpana Singh 2012-02-04 17:30
I agree with your premise that capital punishment is the way to go for economic offenders associated with the government. Some of these people think of the country as their 'BAPAOTI'.
# Sanjay Pawar 2012-02-04 17:33
Another great article. You raised the right questions and also provided the pertinent answers. Not a single political party either cares for the country or has a vision to take it to the next level.
# Anushka Sharma 2012-02-04 17:36
We should thank God for our active and prudent Supreme Court. Congratulations - another great presentation.
# Ajay Chopra 2012-02-04 17:38
In a country of so many intellectuals, it is tragic that we can't think beyond Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and others like them.
# Rakhee Sharma 2012-02-04 17:43
The picture with this article is hilarious and unfortunately, so relevant and appropriate.
# Srinivas Rao 2012-02-04 18:14
I am still unable to understand the verdict given by trial court on Friday regarding P Chidambaram. May be A Raja will also be let free from trial court?
# Dr Rajay Narain 2012-02-04 19:28
As always, an excellent in depth analysis of one of the crisis facing India. Judicial activism is also needed at State level to amend & change the corrupt system that everyone is fed up of.
# Sanjay Sahay 2012-02-05 00:47
As expected, the apex court has done its job, but the lower court has again created the confusion in people's mind by sparing Chidambaram. Anyway, bakre ki amma kab tak khair manaayegi?
# Anshuman Narain 2012-02-05 05:09
My 2 cents. Absolutely right in saying that one should support the candidate and not the party but on the other hand political decisions on an individual level in India are ideologically driven. So for instance, its not just political parties that people vote for but also its religion, its caste, its language and the list goes on. And we as a society hold on to such archaic ideas so its not just the politicians. It is because we believe in these differences that they get reflected in our leaders. Financial corruption is only one part of it all. If we have to get to the so called 'global power' status then we will also be judged on our moral standings also such as treatment of women, elders, minorities, environment and a whole range of other barometers. In all these parameters also we fail very very miserably. Just as an example, I believe we recently got branded as the 4th most dangerous country for women and THE most dangerous country to be born in as a girl. Not sure what global power status can we achieve where half the population is completely subjugated. And this exists at every level whether one is poor or rich; women are treated as lesser mortal. And then just think about the other parameters. I don't think politicians can be blamed for this. Ethical corruption is just as rampant as financial corruption. Two thumbs up for judicial activism but at the same time this is the same closed loop judiciary where an average case takes 9 years to close. I say this not to be a cynic but to not put things in perspective in our hero worshipping society. But out of the three pillars of our constitution I will for sure alway lean on the judiciary rather than the other two.
# Basant Chaudhury 2012-02-05 05:34
Your opening paragraph betrays your political leanings which clearly one is entitled to but should be overt about it. The ho'ble judges have passed a historic judgement but do not confuse politics and law - in cancelling the licences they have overreached - the first come first serve was a policy of the NDA government ratified by a cabinet decision of Vajpayee ji which was also used by Arun Shourie. One can not blame the UPA for following the same policy - a prerogative of the executive - the wrong doing happened at the implementation stage of which Raja will surely be found guilty - we will have to await judgement. Furthermore, it is important to note that the Judges in their wisdom have mentioned the NDA telecom policy as well but have added that this has not been put before them! How far can we go! This will send alarm signals to investors in India. Your views regarding capital punishment are medieval - when the rest of the world is gradually but surely divorcing itself from such barbarism - remember countries with the highest executed death sentences - China(political ) and US (and Iran)- have not seen any reciprocal effect serious crime. The apex court in addition have denied Swamy the pleasure of discomforting Chidambaram by refusing to accept any wrong doing on his part. Only time will tell how this plays out in the courts - one thing is for sure, our mobile phone rates will go up!!
All professionals including politicians reflect the society they represent - some introspection is called for - our democracy remains strong - it is up to us to make it vibrant by voting on policy matters - not on caste, religion and regionalism. Jai Hind!
# Sandhya Sinha 2012-02-05 22:35
This article represents a very neutral and excellent point of view. I recently saw a senior BJP leader on TV from Gujarat. He was saying that they are trying and looking for really good people in Gujarat who would be interested to join politics. I feel that they are not only preaching but also reaching out to good people while the Congress party is only preaching and not at all reaching out to good people. They are very shallow and empty in their approach.
# Mukta Dhar 2012-02-07 16:25
I so disagree with Basant Chaudhary's comments. It seems that he is a follower of Sonia and gang and in sync with the corrupt practices of the Congress party. Mr.Chaudhary, we need all kinds of deterrent to stop corruption in India...even if it means capital punishment for people like A Raja and Suresh Kalmadi. There should be no room for any discussion on this kind of topic. We have to change the system...we cannot depend on the Supreme court to do the right thing for us all the time.
# Amar Singh 2012-02-07 16:31
I agree with Sanjay Sahay's comments and totally disagree with Basant Chaudhary. What does he mean when he says that all professionals including politicians reflect the society they represent...The re are hundreds of thousands of honest Indians, these CHOR politicians do not represent the real India. His statement is sad and pathetic.
# Dr Anita Sinha 2012-02-07 16:33
An excellent article giving the ground realities of our political structure.


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