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India Corruption Research Report 2022 ICRR 2022 An Editorial Initiative of Raman Media Network ResearcherandEditor:RakeshRaman T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S Executive Summary ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3 Opening Statement ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4 Bureaucratic and Political Corruption …………………………………………………………………………. 5 Overview of Corruption in India …………………………………………………………………………………… 7 India Corruption Research Report ……………………………………….……………………………………… 10 Editorial Inputs for Research Project on Corruption in India ……………………..………………. 11 Corruption Perception Survey ……………………………………………………………………………………… 13 Findings of the Perception Survey …………………………………………….……………..…………………. 14 Global Observations on Corruption in India ……………………………………………………..………… 18 Complicit Anti Corruption Agencies of India …………………………………………………..………….. 19 Deliberate Negligence in Applying Anti Corruption Laws …………………………………..……. 20 Action to Revamp Corruption Prevention Processes ………………………………..………………. 22 Widehouse Corruption Scandal of Delhi …………………………………………………..……..………… 24 Forms of Corruption and Its Impact ………………………………………………………..…..……………… 25 Corruption Factors in India ……………………………………………………………………………...…………. 26 Grand Corruption Cases in Indian Politics …………………………………………………………………. 27 Rafale Corruption Case ……………………………………………………………………………………. 28 PM CARES Fund Case ……………………………………………………………………………………… 33 Fraudulent Manipulation of Aam Aadmi Party Wikipedia Pages 38 Congress Financial Crime Case 42 Corruption Makes India a Criminalized Kleptocracy 45 Case Reports on Crime, Corruption, and Impunity in India 46 Clean House Free Anti Corruption Service 47 12 Steps to Deal with Corruption in India 48 Untrained Anti Corruption Oﬃcers in India 49 Technology Interface to Tackle Corruption 50 Reasons for Increasing Corruption in India 52 Need to Redevelop Corruption Prosecution Processes 54 Circulation of the India Corruption Research Report 2022 57 About the Author: Rakesh Raman 57 Perfunctory Government Letters (Exhibits 1 14) 59 Research Report on Corruption in India Year: 2022 By Rakesh Raman Page: 2 of 72
While India is already perceived to be one of the most corrupt countries in the world, bureaucratic and political corruption is still increasing dramatically in the country. However, there is no reliable information available on the extent of corruption, as there is no attempt by the government to deal with corruption
This research report covers diverse aspects of corruption in India. The ﬁndings of the report will help the Central as well as State governments in the country make actionable strategies to combat corruption. The report will also enable other stakeholders including businesses, political parties, and international organizations to understand the perilous eﬀects of corruption in India, which is still an underdeveloped country even after more than 75 years of its independence.
“Corruption robs schools, hospitals, and others of vitally needed funds. It rots institutions, as public oﬃcials enrich themselves or turn a blind eye to criminality. It deprives people of their rights, drives away foreign investment, and despoils the environment,” says UN Secretary General António Guterres. [ Photo: UN ]
The report aims to strengthen the anti corruption eﬀorts of the government agencies such as the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), anti corruption authority Lokpal, anti corruption ombudsman organizations Lokayukta in diﬀerent Indian States, the anti-corruption wing of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), and other departments run by traditional bureaucrats.
Among its other objectives, the report will provide necessary inputs to the business community including industry associations such as the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), and foreign business associations that operate in India.
With its international coverage, the report will enable the global anti-corruption organizations particularly under the UN umbrella to understand the reasons and scope of corruption in India so that they could strategize their relationship with this poor country of nearly 1.4 billion people in order to focus on the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
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The research report has been prepared by Rakesh Raman who is a national award winning journalist and founder of the humanitarian organization RMN Foundation. These days, he runs global news services on diﬀerent subjects and publishes The Integrity Bulletin news magazine that covers local and international corruption news and issues
He also runs various anti corruption campaigns including an anti corruption community court called Clean House to report about corruption cases that aﬀect the people at large. Earlier, he had been associated with the United Nations (UN) through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a digital media expert.
As the corruption methods have always been evolving in India, the contemporary system of corruption has assumed the form of an organized trade in which corruption has become a non issue in the country Bribery is the traditional form of corruption, but now the acts of corruption are happening on a broader landscape. For example, massive political corruption in connivance with private corporations is taking place under the garb of secret electoral bonds
Likewise, megalomaniac politicians such as the prime minister and the chief ministers in diﬀerent Indian States splurge huge public funds to promote themselves through advertisements and publicity campaigns carried out in collusion with corrupt media outlets. While governance is a collaborative exercise, these corrupt politicians get their own photographs published on all publicity material to hoodwink the voters and get undue political advantage in elections.
The political parties also sell election tickets in crores of rupees secretly to candidates who want to contest elections under their banners. The ill-gotten money is spent by politicians to bribe the voters, purchase crowds who attend politicians’ election rallies, and hire hoodlums who commit riots and spread violence before and during elections to help political parties win elections unscruplously.
Similarly, the bureaucratic corruption style is also evolving Now, bureaucrats circumvent the law and misuse their discretionary powers to give undue beneﬁts to those who bribe them. Dereliction of duty, ineﬃciency, lack of skills to handle oﬃcial work, ignorance,
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apathy toward citizens, reckless decisions to plunder public funds are also among the new forms of corruption by bureaucrats at all levels of government.
Since government politicians are mostly illiterate or inexperienced, they are heavily dependent on bureaucrats for all clerical work. While the unskilled bureaucrats are not able to complete their tasks eﬀectively, on average almost 10 bureaucrats are paid for work that can be done by a single person. Thus, salaries being given to bureaucrats with public money is a form of corruption to loot the government exchequer. It is estimated that a whopping 10% of India’s GDP is wasted on salaries of government employees while they do not deserve even a fraction of this money
BUREAUCRATIC AND POLITICAL CORRUPTION
Today, no government in India is willing to stop corruption because now it has become the lifeblood of Indian bureaucrats and politicians. All major global anti corruption organizations observe that corruption has been increasing at an alarming pace in India while the government has no plans and procedures to stop corruption in the country.
Now it appears that corruption has become an integral part of independent India while all State governments as well as the Central government have been encouraging corruption instead of removing it. While political corruption is rampant, bureaucratic naivety or ineﬃciency is the worst form of corruption. The survival of politicians and political parties depends on corruption money which is used to purchase voters, legislators, and commit all sorts of electoral frauds
Almost all the politicians in the State governments are highly corrupt. But this report mainly covers the case studies of national political parties: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of prime minister Narendra Modi and Congress of leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Although the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of Arvind Kejriwal is a local political group, it is embroiled in major corruption scandals and it appears that AAP is the only party in which almost all the politicians are corrupt. So, the report also covers AAP.
Bureaucrats work hand in glove with corrupt politicians to circumvent the law and indulge in corrupt practices. There is no administrative mechanism for the general public to get rid of corruption Courts are also not quite willing to handle corruption cases because the Indian judiciary is largely controlled by corrupt politicians Estimates suggest that India is losing around $1 trillion annually to corruption. This amount is nearly 36% of India’s GDP.
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Now it is not only the bureaucratic and political corruption that is troubling ordinary Indians, but in recent years small groups of white-collar criminals have started operating like sophisticated extortion gangs in diﬀerent cities of India. They bribe the corrupt bureaucrats to circumvent the law and extort money from ordinary citizens
Police and law enforcement agencies are not trained to deal with white collar crimes such as corruption by organized criminal groups which operate openly in diﬀerent localities As bureaucrats also lack knowledge to operate in the modern information driven world, they are not capable of addressing public complaints on corruption. Strangely, most bureaucrats do not treat corruption as a crime.
Since the administrative systems have totally collapsed in India, corruption is increasing at a rapid pace Government oﬃcials and politicians keep sending people’s complaints from one oﬃce to another like a post oﬃce, but they never take administrative decisions to catch and punish the corrupt oﬃcials.
Finally, the aggrieved citizens are left with no other option but to approach the courts But since courts are always overcrowded and judicial systems are ineﬃcient, the court decisions are either inordinately delayed or lack justice The less said about the Indian courts, the better.
Eﬀects of Corruption in India Photo: RMN News Service
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Now corruption has reduced India to a level of criminalized kleptocracy, in which all the four pillars of democracy have collapsed. As a result, India continues to be a poor, underdeveloped country. The sorry plight of Indians indicates that India has already become a politically unstable banana republic with rampant lawlessness, corruption, and exploitation of the ordinary citizens Now India should formally appear in the list of banana republics such as Botswana, Guatemala, Nigeria, Zambia, and Cuba.
If the situation is not controlled immediately, it is expected that international sanctions will be imposed on India because of the government's failure to stop increasing crime and corruption in the country.
OVERVIEW OF CORRUPTION IN INDIA
In his Gettysburg speech of 1863, the then U.S. President Abraham Lincoln introduced America’s representative democracy as the “government of the people, by the people, for the people” Inspired by this principle of democracy, many progressive nations adopted it as the system of governance for the well being of their people. India was one of them. However, things have gone topsy turvy during the past 75 years after India got independence from the Britishers in 1947
Today, India has completely distorted Lincoln’s slogan and it has become a “country of the corrupt, by the corrupt, for the corrupt.” While corruption has spread like a pandemic disease in the entire country, there is no government plan that describes and deals with corruption. Rather, the existing anti corruption laws are misused and misinterpreted to protect corrupt bureaucrats, politicians, and top corporate executives The convictions happen only in those cases in which the politicians in the ruling political party have to settle a score with their opponents.
Estimates suggest that India is losing around $1 trillion annually to corruption. This amount is nearly 36% of India’s GDP. Moreover, the money stashed by Indians in Swiss banks where usually corruption / black money is kept rose by over 50 per cent to Rs 7,000 crore in 2017. [ 1 US$ ~ Indian Rs. 80 ]
As corruption has been increasing exponentially during the past few years, the Supreme Court of India asked the government to set up the oﬃce of Lokpal, the top anti corruption ombudsman in India. Although the Lokpal was established in March 2019, let alone
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resolving corruption cases it could not formalize its processes in over three years of its formation. Corruption is still increasing rapidly in diﬀerent forms.
While political and bureaucratic corruption has become a pain in the neck for commoners in India, there is no eﬀective agency which can give relief from corruption to the suﬀering citizens The Lokayukta (anti corruption ombudsman organization in the Indian States), vigilance departments of State governments, and India’s top anti corruption organization Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) are all toothless outﬁts that tend to protect the corrupt oﬃcials and encourage corruption They simply turn a blind eye to the corruption cases in which government politicians and working bureaucrats are involved
The procedures of anti corruption agencies to accept public complaints on corruption are so slow and cumbersome that ordinary citizens feel scared to ﬁle their complaints against corrupt oﬃcials. The public grievance monitoring systems of the State as well as Central governments are also totally ineﬀective After receiving complaints from the citizens, these systems send them to some random departments in a mechanical way and abruptly close the cases without giving relief to the complainants.
Government oﬃcials keep throwing public complaints from one desk to another without taking conclusive decisions on the complaints. Finally, the aggrieved citizens are left with no other option but to approach the courts But if courts have to do everything, why do we need politicians and government oﬃcials? The administrative systems have totally collapsed in India.
While corruption is happening openly, most corruption cases involving top bureaucrats and ruling politicians do not get reported. As most Indian journalists are corrupt, Indian media is under the tight control of the government When some corruption cases appear in the non traditional media (such as news sites), the government ignores them and makes false claims that no corruption is happening under the government. The truth, however, is that corruption which has been persisting for decades under all governments is happening and increasing at every step in the country
Although a slew of anti corruption laws exist in India, the rising corruption in the country indicates that these laws are not eﬀective. The anti corruption laws that are supposed to check corruption include Indian Penal Code, 1860; Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 to prohibit benami transactions; Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002; among others
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Moreover, the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 which came into force from January 2014, seeks to provide for the establishment of the institution of Lokpal to inquire into allegations of corruption against certain public functionaries in India. Whistle Blowers Protection Act, 2011, which provides a mechanism to investigate alleged corruption and misuse of power by public servants and also protect anyone who exposes alleged wrongdoing in government bodies, projects, and oﬃces, received the assent of the President of India on May 9, 2014, and is pending for notiﬁcation by the Central Government The Act has not yet come into force because amendments pertaining to safeguards against certain disclosures relevant to national security could not be incorporated.
India is also a signatory to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) since 2005 (ratiﬁed 2011). The Convention covers a wide range of acts of corruption and also proposes certain preventive policies While corruption can take place in many forms, punishment for bribery which is the basic form of corruption in India can range from six months to seven years imprisonment.
At present, thousands of complaints alleging various misconducts are under inquiry relating to public servants under the jurisdiction of the CVC. As the decisions on corruption cases get inordinately delayed, CVC says investigation into complaints is an ongoing process and the Commission regularly monitors the pendency with the Chief Vigilance Oﬃcers (CVOs) to ensure time-bound completion of the same.
According to the 2021 Annual Report of the CVC, the Commission had 26,403 complaints, out of which 25,326 complaints were disposed of with a 96% disposal rate. However, these are misleading ﬁgures because like other departments CVC counts a complaint disposed of after sending it mechanically to some random department. As the CVC works with opaque systems, it is not possible to know the names and titles of convicted oﬃcials.
The delays in investigations, according to CVC, are on account of a multitude of reasons such as lack of adequate oﬃcers in certain oﬃces, complexity of investigations, time taken to follow the laid down procedure, non cooperation of the suspect oﬃcers, etc.
As the government does not encourage the citizens to ﬁle their complaints, India’s leading anti corruption agencies have made the corruption complaints ﬁling and investigation processes very complex. Also, the top investigation agency the Central
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Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is terribly slow in investigating normal corruption cases while CBI works very fast when the ruling political party directs it to investigate the cases of its political opponents.
INDIA CORRUPTION RESEARCH REPORT
The India Corruption Research Report 2022 (ICRR 2022) carries information on the extent of corruption in India, corruption prevention laws, complicity of government organs in major corruption cases, ﬁndings of a perception survey, case studies of major scandals, ﬂawed investigation processes, weak government to citizen (G2C) interfaces, limitations of the anti corruption authorities, and so on.
The information in the report is included from the primary as well as secondary sources and my personal experiences as a journalist and anti corruption activist In the past few years, I have ﬁled more than 100 complaints with the government’s anti corruption agencies against the corrupt government functionaries including Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) oﬃcers.
Some of the actual letters from diﬀerent government departments in corruption cases are appended in this report Unfortunately, however, no formal investigation took place in all these cases and the government functionaries continue to commit acts of corruption with full impunity provided by the corrupt political and administrative systems. Such perfunctory letters are written by the government departments to deceive the complainants by creating a false impression that action is being taken on the complaints
The research report project began with an attempt to collect primary editorial inputs from the main anti corruption departments and leading political parties of India. A questionnaire was sent to the Lokpal of India, Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) of India, and the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Government of India.
Similarly, a questionnaire was sent to political parties including Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Since the government agencies are not willing to deal with corruption and the political outﬁts are extremely corrupt, they did not respond to the questions sent to them. The questionnaires sent to the Lokpal and AAP are given below while similar questionnaires were sent to other organizations mentioned above
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Editorial Inputs for Research Project on Corruption in India
To December 20, 2021
Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose Chairman
Anti Corruption Institution Lokpal of India
Plot No: 6, Vasant Kunj Institutional Area, Phase II New Delhi 110 070
I am a national award winning journalist and founder of the humanitarian organization RMN Foundation in New Delhi. As an anti corruption activist, I publish The Integrity Bulletin news magazine, which covers local and international corruption news and issues.
I also run “Clean House” anti corruption service to report about crime and corruption in Delhi’s group housing societies where millions of people suﬀer because of extreme corruption and lawlessness.
As I have planned to compile a comprehensive research report on corruption in India, I need your response on the following queries to compile the report.
1. How does Lokpal deﬁne corruption?
2 What process does Lokpal follow to receive, investigate, and resolve corruption complaints?
3. How many corruption complaints did Lokpal receive and resolve since its formation in March 2019?
4 How many convictions (including imprisonment) of culprits did Lokpal achieve in the corruption cases it handled since March 2019?
5. Does Lokpal have a technology based online website to accept complaints and allow complainants to track and monitor their complaints to know the progress of the case? If yes, what is the website address? If no, why not?
6. How does Lokpal treat corruption cases such as the alleged Rafale scam which are in the public domain but have not been thoroughly investigated?
7 How does Lokpal educate its staﬀ on the evolving corruption concepts so that they could handle, investigate, and prosecute corruption cases eﬃciently?
8. You can add any other point from your side to explain the performance of your oﬃce.
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You may please send
or before January 3, 2022
Editorial Inputs for Research Project on Corruption in India
To February 21, 2022
Mr Arvind Kejriwal Leader
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of India
Dear Mr. Arvind Kejriwal,
I am a national award winning journalist and founder of the humanitarian organization RMN Foundation in New Delhi. As an anti corruption activist, I publish The Integrity Bulletin news magazine, which covers local and international corruption news and issues.
I also run “Clean House” anti corruption service to report about crime and corruption in Delhi’s group housing societies where millions of people suﬀer because of extreme corruption and lawlessness.
As I have planned to compile a comprehensive research report on corruption in India, I need your response on the following queries to compile the report.
1. How does AAP deﬁne corruption as well as political corruption?
2. What process does AAP follow to receive, investigate, and resolve corruption complaints against its leaders and workers?
3. How many corruption complaints did AAP receive and resolve in 2021?
4. How many convictions (including imprisonment) of culprits did AAP have in the corruption cases of its leaders in the past 3 years: 2019 2021? Give details including names and designations of the convicts
5. What mechanism does AAP have to take action against its leaders who are corrupt or do not perform their duties honestly?
6 How does AAP treat corruption cases such as the alleged Rafale scam, PM CARES Fund case, etc. which are in the public domain but have not been thoroughly investigated?
me your response on the
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7. What system does AAP
to weed out
from the party and the
8. You can add any other point from your side to explain the performance related to
You may please send me your
the above queries on or before February 28,
and study questionnaires sent to all these
You can click the links in the following
CORRUPTION PERCEPTION SURVEY
As part of this research project, an original perception survey was launched on RMN News Service to collect primary views of the citizens. The following six questions were presented to the respondents to take their votes.
Is India a corrupt country?
Are you aﬀected by corruption in India?
Who is mainly responsible for corruption in India?
corruption prevention of your party
table to download
organizations. Editorial Inputs for Research Project on Corruption in India Click the following links to read the letters Lokpal CVC DoPT Congress BJP AAP
Politicians Private Companies Research Report on Corruption in India Year: 2022 By Rakesh Raman Page: 13 of 72
What is the impact of corruption in India?
Death of Democracy
Human Rights Violations
Are Indian anti-corruption agencies working honestly?
Are corrupt Indian bureaucrats and politicians punished suitably?
FINDINGS OF THE PERCEPTION SURVEY
The ﬁndings of the perception survey are given below. These ﬁndings were recorded up to September 2022 and presented in the following charts
● A whopping 86% of people believe that India is a corrupt country.
● Corruption has adversely aﬀected 80% of the people in India It can be inferred that the other 20% who are not aﬀected are committing corruption crimes.
● As India’s bureaucrats blatantly defy laws and commit ﬁnancial crimes with impunity, 61% people say in the survey that bureaucrats are responsible for corruption while 34% believe that politicians are causing corruption A smaller number of people 5% say that private companies which bribe the government functionaries are responsible for corruption.
● Thirty two percent people believe that corruption has destroyed the democratic systems in India and 20% say corruption is causing unemployment in the country.
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Injustice, human rights violations, inﬂation, poverty, and hunger are the other adverse eﬀects of corruption.
● Almost all the respondents (97%) say that the anti-corruption agencies of India are not working honestly. All the anti corruption agencies such as the Lokpal, Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), Lokayuktas, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Economic Oﬀences Wings (EOWs) of Police, State police departments, and others are working hand in glove with the corrupt government functionaries.
● Since corrupt bureaucrats and politicians enjoy full impunity and the judicial systems are quite weak in India, 97% people said in the survey that the corrupt oﬃcials and political leaders are not being punished suitably As a result, corruption is increasing rapidly in India.
These ﬁndings are depicted in the charts given below
A whopping 86% of people believe that India is a corrupt country
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Corruption has adversely aﬀected 80% of the people in India. It can be inferred that the other 20% who are not aﬀected are committing corruption crimes.
As India’s bureaucrats blatantly defy laws and commit ﬁnancial crimes with impunity, 61% people say in the survey that bureaucrats are responsible for corruption while 34% believe that politicians are causing corruption. A smaller number of people 5% say that private companies which bribe the government functionaries are responsible for corruption.
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Thirty two percent people believe that corruption has destroyed the democratic systems in India and 20% say corruption is causing unemployment in the country. Injustice, human rights violations, inﬂation, poverty, and hunger are the other adverse eﬀects of corruption.
Almost all the respondents (97%) say that the anti corruption agencies of India are not working honestly All the anti corruption agencies such as the Lokpal, Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), Lokayuktas, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Economic Oﬀences Wings (EOWs) of Police, State police departments, and others are working hand in glove with the corrupt government functionaries.
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Since corrupt bureaucrats and politicians enjoy full impunity and the judicial systems are quite weak in India, 97% people said in the survey that the corrupt oﬃcials and political leaders are not being punished suitably As a result, corruption is increasing rapidly in India
GLOBAL OBSERVATIONS ON CORRUPTION IN INDIA
While India continues to be one of the most corrupt countries in the world, the few convictions that are taking place in corruption cases are driven by political reasons rather than an attempt to weed out general corruption from the country The corruption cases in which the top government politicians are involved never get investigated In general, the bureaucratic and political corruption is so rampant in India that the culprits hardly get caught or jailed and enjoy full government impunity to continue their corrupt acts.
This fact is also stated in a recent 2022 report released by the U.S. Department of State which reveals that widespread corruption is happening at all levels of government in India. In an exclusive section, “Corruption and Lack of Transparency in Government, ” the report asserts that the law provides criminal penalties for corruption by oﬃcials at all levels of government in India. However, according to the report, oﬃcials frequently engage in corrupt practices with impunity while there were numerous reports of government corruption during the year.
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In addition to the U.S. State Department report, there are multiple global surveys which reveal that corruption is increasing rapidly in all parts of India. The U.S. report adds that corruption happens at diﬀerent levels including the payment of bribes to expedite services, such as police protection, school admission, water supply, and government assistance.
While rampant corruption is happening everywhere in India, the untamed bureaucrats are blatantly defying laws that are supposed to prevent corruption. The latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released in January 2022 by Transparency International reveals that India is among the most corrupt countries of the world The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, asserts that India, with a score of just 40, is ranked 85 in the world. In other words, India is more corrupt than 84 other countries
As a result of bureaucratic and political corruption, the people of India are suﬀering under unprecedented inﬂation, pollution, hunger, unemployment, human rights violations, injustice, and extreme misery.
COMPLICIT ANTI CORRUPTION AGENCIES OF INDIA
The anti corruption agencies in India are either scared of the government politicians or complicit in crimes being committed by bureaucrats and politicians. That is why they simply ignore the corruption complaints against government functionaries. Moreover, the investigating oﬃcers are so unskilled and almost illiterate that they cannot understand the complaints. As a result, there are inordinate delays in resolving the corruption cases or the culprits never get punished.
Now it appears that all the anti corruption agencies of India such as the Lokpal, Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), Lokayuktas, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Economic Oﬀences Wings (EOWs) of Police, State police departments, and also the DoPT as well as the Cabinet Secretariat are working hand in glove with the corrupt government functionaries.
They take action in corruption cases against bureaucrats or politicians of opposition parties only when directed by the top political rulers. When the members of the public complain against corrupt oﬃcials, they simply ignore the complaints or send perfunctory letters here and there to discard the complaints from citizens. The bureaucrats who
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work as uncivil masters rather than civil servants never resolve public grievances and treat citizens as slaves.
Disturbed by the complicity of top anti corruption departments in corruption crimes, in March 2022, I sent a petition to the President and the Chief Justice of India for the removal of the anti corruption authority Lokpal under charges of non performance and dereliction of duty. But Lokpal continues to be an ineﬀective outﬁt.
As a journalist and anti corruption activist, I have ﬁled several complaints against the corrupt oﬃcials over the years. I have observed that the anti corruption investigation and the prosecution agencies are complicit in corruption crimes as they have formed a criminal gang with the corrupt oﬃcials While courts are not fully equipped to handle corruption cases, the anti corruption agencies have failed to punish corrupt oﬃcials.
Therefore, I do not expect a fair treatment to my complaints which are discarded under one pretext or another mainly because the Indian government is not willing to check corruption. So, the corrupt oﬃcials never get caught and punished. They keep committing more corruption crimes in connivance with the anti corruption agencies.
As a result of the impunity provided to the crooks by the top anti-corruption oﬃcers, corruption is increasing exponentially in all parts of the country. Consequently, the people of India are facing a severe socio economic crisis and India is getting a bad name at all global forums
DELIBERATE NEGLIGENCE IN APPLYING ANTI CORRUPTION LAWS
While most government oﬃcials and corruption investigating oﬃcers lack English communication skills, they do not understand the complaints to take proper action on them At the same time, they are extremely careless and ignorant of the prevailing anti corruption laws that they must apply to begin prosecution in diﬀerent cases.
If the anti corruption authorities simply apply the following laws, hundreds or thousands of Indian bureaucrats and politicians will be convicted and jailed. In fact, their number would be so large that the government will have to build new jails and detention centers for them
Some of these laws to deal with emerging ﬁnancial crimes including corruption are the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (PC ACT), Chapter IX of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, Vigilance Manual of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), prevention of grand corruption and rent seeking regulations.
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THE PREVENTION OF CORRUPTION (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2018 states that:
For sections 7, 8, 9 and 10 of the principal Act, the following sections shall be substituted, namely:— ‘‘7 Any public servant who, (a) obtains or accepts or attempts to obtain from any person, an undue advantage, with the intention to perform or cause performance of public duty improperly or dishonestly or to forbear or cause forbearance to perform such duty either by himself or by another public servant; or
(b) obtains or accepts or attempts to obtain, an undue advantage from any person as a reward for the improper or dishonest performance of a public duty or for forbearing to perform such duty either by himself or another public servant; or (c) performs or induces another public servant to perform improperly or dishonestly a public duty or to forbear performance of such duty in anticipation of or in consequence of accepting an undue advantage from any person... shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to ﬁne.
The Vigilance Manual 2017 of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) of India states that: Corruption is manifested in various forms such as bribery, nepotism, willful action or willful inaction to beneﬁt someone or to deny beneﬁt to someone known or unknown It also states that corruption includes cases of favoritism and failure to follow laid down processes leading to unintended beneﬁt to someone or denial of beneﬁt to the deserving.
Also, a case of rent seeking takes place when the public functionaries distort the government rules and misuse their authority surreptitiously for personal gains.
The concept of rent seeking applies to corruption by public servants and elected leaders who solicit and extract "bribe" or "rent" for using their legal but discretionary authority for awarding legitimate or illegitimate beneﬁts to clients or individuals or organizations.
Rent seeking is directly related to government corruption In such cases of organized white collar crimes, the actual transaction of bribe money is not visible.
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Therefore, an investigation must be initiated after the collection of circumstantial evidence to track the ﬂow of money.
Grand corruption happens when top government bureaucrats or politicians subvert the political, legal, and economic systems for personal gains or for taking undue political advantages Grand corruption described as the abuse of public power for private gain by a nation’s leaders (kleptocrats) has devastating consequences for the citizens of a country. Grand corruption deprives people of their fundamental rights and disturbs the peace and security in a country
In order to weed out corruption from India, there is an immediate need to apply these anti corruption laws and revamp the corruption investigation and prosecution processes
Since the corruption complaint systems such as the Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) of the government are defective, the government should design and deploy an eﬀective online mechanism to receive and monitor corruption complaints from the citizens.
In this regard, I urged the government with my complaints to DoPT No. DOPAT/E/2022/11898 dated 22.07.2022 and to PMO No. PMOPG/E/2022/0201852 dated 30 072022 to upgrade the CPGRAMS portal and complaints handling processes While it is extremely diﬃcult to revive the defunct systems in the States, a proper replacement of the CPGRAMS can check corruption to a greater extent.
ACTION TO REVAMP CORRUPTION PREVENTION PROCESSES
Since the existing processes to prevent corruption in India are not working, the government should redesign and revamp these processes. Some of the steps for this exercise are given below.
1. Develop, design, and deploy a new complaints management system to replace the defunct CPGRAMS
2. Use ﬂowcharts, videos, and other multimedia instructional content to describe the complete, end to end process of dealing with a corruption complaint from a citizen.
3. The government functionaries who receive the complaints should understand them, write their comments and instructions for the investigating oﬃcers and then forward the
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complaints to concerned departments for investigation. They should not work as mere postal workers to deliver letters blindly to the investigating departments.
4. Issue formal notices to the oﬃcials against whom the complaints are ﬁled and direct them to respond within 15 days. The coordinating oﬃcers should study the response from the accused oﬃcers and if the response is not satisfactory, they should take action against the respondents. If required, the accused oﬃcials must be suspended before beginning the investigation or prosecution against them.
5. Put all these details transparently on the online complaints management system so that the complainant and the accused are aware of the progress of the case.
6. Investigate and prosecute all the cases in a fast track process so that the corrupt oﬃcials could be immediately convicted and jailed
7. Allow the complainant to participate in the investigation hearings with the accused so that they could argue the case, leading to their prosecution and conviction.
8. Do not close the cases arbitrarily and keep the complainant informed at every step of the investigation and prosecution so that they could provide their inputs for a fair investigation.
9. Employ domain experts with perfect process management and communication skills to support the existing government oﬃcials who are not quite qualiﬁed to understand and use the contemporary methods to deal with corruption.
10. Enhance the use of digital platforms to receive corruption complaints, hold live-streamed investigation hearings, and update the cases on a revamped digital user interface.
These are the indicative steps that the government should take to prevent and stop corruption in India After using them at DoPT, Ministry of Home Aﬀairs (MHA), and the Cabinet Secretariat, they will also form the basis for improving the corruption prevention laws and procedures in diﬀerent anti corruption agencies such as the Lokpal, CVC, Lokayuktas, CBI, EOWs of Police, and so on
Along with these steps, it should be the fundamental / human right of the people to live in a corruption free environment
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Widehouse Corruption Scandal of Delhi
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Scandal is being run by local criminals who operate as management committee (MC) members of Delhi’s cooperative group housing societies (CGHS) in connivance with crooked politicians, corrupt bureaucrats, complicit police oﬃcials, dishonest members of judiciary, and builders’ maﬁa.
After the criminal enterprise of Nazi Germany during the Holocaust for the genocide of millions of European Jews, the Widehouse corruption scandal is the largest organized massacre not only in India but also in the world. In this criminal attack, millions of people are victims of a single crime which is being brazenly supported by the Indian government to harm its own citizens.
The estimated annual corruption money involved in this scandal is hundreds (or may be thousands) of crores of rupees (equivalent to millions of dollars) and nearly 2 million (20 lakh) residents are the direct victims in this criminal case. If not stopped, the harmful construction will continue in Delhi for many years – even until 2030.
You can click here to read the full report on the Widehouse Corruption Scandal It includes facts, ﬁgures, names of accused oﬃcials, government documents, infographics, photographs, video links, and the actions expected from the Indian and international law enforcement agencies.
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FORMS OF CORRUPTION AND ITS IMPACT
Corruption is not only a crime but it is also an immoral act Among the other descriptions of corruption, the global anti corruption organization Transparency International suggests that corruption thrives on a low level of transparency Wikipedia, a leading online encyclopedia, deﬁnes systemic corruption (or endemic corruption) as corruption which occurs because of the weaknesses of an organization or a process. This type of corruption can be contrasted with individual oﬃcials or agents who act dishonestly within a system
Wikipedia further states that factors which encourage systemic corruption include conﬂicting incentives, discretionary powers, monopolistic power structures, lack of transparency, low pay, and a culture of impunity.
Traditional Forms of Corruption Bribery Extortion Embezzlement Factors That Encourage Corruption
Conﬂicting Incentives Discretionary Powers Monopolistic Structures
Lack of Transparency Low Pay Culture of Impunity
Speciﬁc acts of corruption include "bribery, extortion, and embezzlement" in a system where corruption becomes the rule rather than the exception.
Corruption is negatively associated with the share of private investment and, hence, it lowers the rate of economic growth Corruption, according to Wikipedia, creates the opportunity for increased inequality, reduces the return of productive activities, and, hence, makes rent seeking (practice of manipulating policy for increasing proﬁts) and corruption activities more attractive.
“This opportunity for increased inequality not only generates psychological frustration to the underprivileged but also reduces productivity growth, investment, and job opportunities,” Wikipedia says.
According to a research paper The Impact of Corruption on Growth and Inequality published by Transparency International, corruption is likely to adversely aﬀect long term economic growth through its impact on investment, taxation, public expenditures, and
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human development. The paper also states that corruption is also likely to undermine the regulatory environment and the eﬃciency of state institutions as rent-seeking distorts incentives and decision making processes.
Impact of corruption on people in diﬀerent age groups
It is observed that corruption has multiple adverse eﬀects on the citizens, the entire society, and the economy of a country The eﬀects of corruption include poor quality of public services, unemployment, lack of justice, increased inequality among people, and so on. All these eﬀects can lead to social unrest in a country.
CORRUPTION FACTORS IN INDIA
The factors that contribute to increased corruption in India include ﬂawed electoral processes, political and bureaucratic illiteracy, lack of domain expertise among government oﬃcials, ineﬃcient and obsolete administrative systems, lack of transparency, and weak policy implementation mechanisms
The factors also include lack of opportunities for the public to participate in the administrative reform process, archaic school and college education systems, centralized Research
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administration, limited technology usage, low or no press freedom, poverty, and government’s attacks on civil society organizations.
Obviously, it is almost impossible for any government in India to overcome all these challenges while the corrupt and corruption are thriving. Although Indian politicians loudly claim that they will weed out corruption from the country, corruption has always been increasing rapidly.
Main Factors That Contribute to Increasing Corruption in India
Low or No Press Freedom Attacks on Civil Society Organizations Poverty
Corruption was the main factor for the debacle of the Congress led government in the 2014 and again in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Congress tried to use corruption in the government as the main rhetoric to defeat the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2019 election, but its strategy boomeranged
CASE STUDIES OF GRAND CORRUPTION
GRAND CORRUPTION CASES IN INDIAN POLITICS
It is not possible to survive and thrive in Indian politics if you are not corrupt You can leapfrog in the dirty political arena if you are a history-sheeter with a solid criminal record which must include dacoity, vandalism, murders, rapes, and robbery.
Today, the majority of the successful Indian politicians have such a distinguished criminal record While ordinary citizens are suﬀering under their atrocities, the Indian bureaucrats, court judges, police, and security forces behave as the slaves of the criminal politicians and never try to protect citizens and their rights. The corruption cases in which top
Flawed Electoral Processes Political and Bureaucratic Illiteracy Lack of Domain Expertise
Obsolete Administrative Systems Lack of Transparency Weak Policy Implementation Archaic Education Systems Centralized Administration Limited Technology Usage
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politicians are involved never get investigated properly and discarded to protect the politicians. A few of these cases are described below.
Rafale Corruption Case
The French judicial investigation into the sale of 36 Rafale ﬁghter aircraft to India is accelerating. According to a Mediapart article on September 14, 2022, the detectives from the OCLCIFF, the anti corruption unit of the French police, searched the headquarters of Rafale manufacturers Dassault Aviation.
The police action that took place in February 2022 was in response to the demand from the investigating judges Virginie Tilmont and Pascal Gastineau. Mediapart says Dassault did not comment on the ongoing investigation, adding that French judges are leading an investigation into claims of corruption surrounding the 78 billion euro sale to India in 2016 of 36 Dassault built Rafale ﬁghter aircraft.
Mediapart reporter Yann Philippin writes that four months after searching the headquarters of the French defence and aviation group, investigators were refused access by France’s Ministry of the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Foreign Aﬀairs to classiﬁed documents related to the Rafale deal
A French news service Mediapart which has been reporting about the Rafale corruption case had revealed in its report of November 7 last year that Indian investigating agencies deliberately ignored this case in which India’s prime minister (PM) Narendra Modi is the prime accused
Mediapart says that detectives from India’s federal police force, the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI), and its colleagues from the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which ﬁghts money laundering, have had proof since October 2018 that French aviation ﬁrm Dassault paid at least 7.5 million euros (equivalent to about 600 million rupees) in secret commissions to middleman in this case But the CBI and ED decided to ignore the wrongdoing. [ Watch The Wire video of November 8, 2021. ]
As the Indian courts and judges had also turned a blind eye to the possible corruption in the Rafale deal, a French judge was appointed in July 2021 to lead a judicial investigation into alleged corruption and favouritism in the 7.8 billion euro sale to India of 36 ﬁghter aircraft
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Mediapart an independent French online investigative journal had revealed in its report released on July 2, 2021 that the investigation was formally opened in June following a decision by the ﬁnancial crimes branch of the French public prosecution services, the PNF. Parquet national ﬁnancier (PNF) is a French judicial institution which is responsible for investigating serious economic and ﬁnancial crimes
Thanks to a series of investigative reports published by Mediapart in April 2021 about the possibility of corruption in the Rafale deal, the probe has been launched to examine various aspects of the deal. These include corruption, inﬂuence peddling, money laundering, favouritism, and undue tax waivers surrounding the deal.
Investigative reporter Yann Philippin of Mediapart reveals that after declining to investigate the case in 2019, the PNF has decided to open it after the case was updated with details from Mediapart’s recent series of investigations. The Wire news service published a video interview with Yann Philippin in April to learn about the Rafale case. [ Click here to watch the interview ]
While the Rafale deal had become a hot potato in India, a French NGO named Sherpa had ﬁled a complaint in 2018 with the National Financial Prosecutor’s Oﬃce to clarify under which conditions 36 ﬁghter aircraft produced by Dassault Aviation were sold to India in 2016 and the choice of its Indian partner, Reliance, a group led by a close partner of PM Modi
“This complaint follows the complaint lodged on the 4th of October 2018 by a former Indian Minister and an anti corruption lawyer with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in New Delhi, against Modi for ‘abuse of authority’ and ‘grant of undue advantages’ in connection with the sale of Rafale, and the facts revealed by Mediapart and Sherpa’s investigation,” Sherpa said in a statement about the Rafale case
The Sherpa statement added that Anil Ambani, Modi’s close associate; Eric Trappier, CEO of Dassault Aviation; and the former Indian Minister of Defense Manohar Parrikar have also been targeted in the complaint ﬁled in New Delhi for “complicity” in the alleged crime.
As the Modi government has been hiding the facts related to the Rafale deal, a Times of India article of August 21, 2020 said that the federal auditor Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its report did not mention any oﬀset deals related to Rafale aircraft purchased from French company Dassault Aviation.
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The article adds that India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has denied any information related to the Rafale oﬀset deals to the CAG.
RAFALE DEAL AND SUPREME COURT DECISION
In November 2019, the Supreme Court of India had put a ﬁnal break on the controversial Rafale corruption case. A bench comprising the then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justices S.K. Kaul, and K.M. Joseph dismissed the review petitions seeking reassessment of the judgment that had refused an investigation by the CBI into the Rafale ﬁghter jet deal with French ﬁrm Dassault Aviation.
A petition ﬁled by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh was seeking a court monitored investigation into the Rafale deal. Another petition ﬁled by former Indian ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie, and lawyer activist Prashant Bhushan had demanded a review of its ﬁndings related to the procurement of 36 Rafale ﬁghter jets.
However, the top court observed arbitrarily that the petitions lacked merits and therefore there is no need for the CBI to register a ﬁrst information report (FIR) and start the inquiry.
It is important to mention here that in May 2019 a Supreme Court committee had exonerated Chief Justice Gogoi who was blamed of sexual harassment by a former woman employee of the court Most observers believe that the so called inquiry was a biased exercise to protect the Chief Justice and the committee did not follow the law to protect women from sexual harassment at their place of work.
After giving a whimsical judgment that protected Modi and his colleagues in the Rafale case, Gogoi’s term as Chief Justice ended on November 17, 2019, and the Modi government rewarded him with a Rajya Sabha membership in March 2020
Since Gogoi had dishonestly tried to protect Modi in the Rafale corruption case, in August 2021, a petition in the Supreme Court had challenged Gogoi’s appointment to the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of the bicameral Parliament of India.
RAFALE CASE COMPLAINT
The petitioners in the Rafale case led by lawyer Prashant Bhushan had ﬁled a complaint with the CBI on October 4, 2018, urging the agency to register an FIR against PM Modi and former defence minister Manohar Parrikar
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The complaint alleged that the accused have committed a range of oﬀences under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PC Act) over their April 2015 decision to purchase 36 Rafale aircraft from Dassault Aviation. The complaint was handed over to Alok Verma, the then director of the CBI, who was later removed from his position surreptitiously by the Modi government with the help of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), India’s top anti corruption organization which controls CBI.
In a related development, KV Chowdary who had retired as the Central Vigilance Commissioner – was hired as additional director on the board of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) led by Mukesh Ambani, who is a close capitalist friend of Modi. As the CVC of India, Chowdary had intervened to get all investigations against Modi dropped Chowdary was gifted the post of CVC in 2015 for his role in protecting Modi unscrupulously. Despite a number of corruption complaints against Chowdary, he goes scot free because there is no speciﬁc law to prosecute him. According to an RTI reply, four complaints were ﬁled against Chowdary between January 2014 and August 2020
A new CVC Sanjay Kothari – who was handpicked in April 2020 – was equally notorious, as he ignored the Rafale case The oﬃce of the CVC is an utterly useless setup which mostly protects the corrupt government functionaries instead of catching and punishing them.
It is alleged in the complaint that Modi who is a public servant misused his position as PM of India to give undue beneﬁt in the Rafale deal to his close associate Anil Ambani who is the Chairman of Reliance ADA group of companies and brother of Mukesh Ambani. When the complaint reached India’s top investigating agency CBI, Chowdary allegedly conspired to get CBI director Alok Verma removed from his position.
MURKY COURT JUDGMENT
The New York Times (NYT), the world’s top newspaper based in the U.S., said in its article that Modi’s opaque arms deal has raised some serious questions The article headlined “With ‘Fishy’ Jet Deal, India’s Opposition Finally Lands a Blow on Modi” appeared in NYT
It raised questions such as why Modi renegotiated a deal for 36 ﬁghter jets and why a company run by a wealthy family (Ambani family) was chosen to participate in the deal while it had no experience of building jets. The NYT article also asked why the costs of the planes seemed to jump so much and why Modi is not sharing more details on the
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Rafale deal. Strangely, however, the Supreme Court did not ﬁnd the need to explore all these troubling questions and gave a murky judgment in favor of the Modi government. The petitioners had alleged that the 2018 judgment “relied upon patently incorrect claims made by the government in an unsigned note given in a sealed cover” to the Supreme Court.
In order to see transparency in the decision making process of the court, they had requested for an oral hearing of the petition in an open court. But instead of dealing with the case objectively, the Supreme Court judges it appears merely used their whims to dismiss it because the case targeted PM Modi The less said about the Indian courts, the better.
In order to highlight corruption in the Rafale deal, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi used ‘chowkidar chor hai’ (PM Narendra Modi as watchman of the country is a thief) slogan extensively before the 2019 Lok Sabha election to discredit Modi for his alleged involvement in the deal.
Rahul Gandhi often called Modi a “thief” for stealing Rs. 30,000 crore (~ US$ 4 billion) in the Rafale deal which was handled by Modi in a secret manner. However, after the shady court judgment, Rahul Gandhi and the petitioners had to willy nilly accept that there was no corruption in the Rafale deal and Chowkidar Modi is not a chor
But the new Mediapart articles have again brought the Rafale scandal to the center stage of increasing political corruption in India. According to a Mediapart article, in New Delhi on September 23, 2016 the French minister for defence, Jean Yves Le Drian, and his Indian counterpart Manohar Parrikar, watched by Éric Trappier, CEO of French company Dassault Aviation, signed one of the biggest arms deals ever concluded by the French state.
This was for the sale of 36 Rafale ﬁghter jets made by Dassault to the Indian state for 7.8 billion euros. To put this sum into context, it is the equivalent of the annual gross domestic product (GDP) of a country such as Benin in West Africa.
Although Mediapart has again revealed corruption in the Rafale deal, instead of allowing a transparent investigation into the case, the Modi government will dismiss the reports by saying that it is a politically motivated attempt to malign the Modi government. There is also a possibility that the Modi government will intimidate Mediapart by sending a frivolous legal notice to the journal for its Rafale corruption reports.
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Earlier, as expected, the Modi government had dismissed the Rafale investigation report on April 5, saying it is a baseless report and blamed the opposition party Congress and ‘corporate rivalry’ for accusing Modi and his government. But the Modi government has not given any logical argument in its defence. [ Click here to watch a related video. ]
Since the opposition parties in India are almost extinct and the courts as well as anti corruption outﬁts such as the Lokpal, CVC, and CBI are mostly complicit in state crimes, the Rafale scandal will once again be brushed under the carpet.
The Congress party, however, held a casual press conference in July last year to explain the irregularities in the Rafale deal. As Congress is a dying political outﬁt, it shows its opposition only through Twitter instead of holding ﬁeld demonstrations or going to the courts against the Modi government’s questionable actions
PM-CARES Fund Case
The Indian court judges are so dishonest that when the case is against the rulers, they keep making meaningless statements in courtrooms or issue casual notices to the authorities to delay the hearings in order to give impunity to the accused politicians and their supporters.
But when a fake case is ﬁled by the complicit police against the ordinary citizens, the judges are reluctant to grant bail to them and order to imprison the innocent people
In the case of alleged corruption in the PM CARES Fund, the Delhi High Court according to The Indian Express report of July 13, 2022 again delayed the case hearing for 2 months and the next date of hearing was ﬁxed for September 16.
While the court should have asked a specialized anti corruption agency such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to ﬁnd out the ﬁnancial irregularities in the PM CARES Fund after taking the accused into custody, the court judges have been deliberately deferring the case so that it could be ﬁnally discarded without investigation.
As the secrecy around the PM CARES Fund ﬂoated by the supreme leader of India, Narendra Modi, deepens, the Delhi High Court in a parallel case on July 7 had ordered it to maintain opaqueness in the account
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According to a Live Law story of July 8, 2022, the Delhi High Court stayed an order of the Central Information Commission (CIC) directing the Income Tax (IT) department to provide details regarding the tax exemption granted to the PM-CARES Fund in accordance with the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
A single judge bench of Justice Yashwant Varma observed that the issue of whether the Fund is a public authority is sub judice before a division bench of the High Court and ordered that until the next date of listing, there shall be stay of the impugned order dated April 27, 2022. The next date of hearing is reported to be November 16.
In other words, the court found an excuse to provide impunity to führer Modi who silently controls and uses courts to take all decisions in his favour.
Earlier, a former Supreme Court judge Justice MB Lokur had expressed his anguish over the lack of transparency in the PM CARES Fund While the PM CARES Fund was created by PM Modi on March 27, 2020 following the Covid 19 pandemic in India, the Modi government brazenly refuses to reveal the details of money collected and spent through this account.
Since the information about the Fund is not being revealed even through RTI applications, Justice Lokur believes that it amounts to the subversion of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. In a report published on October 12, 2021 in the Live Law news site, Justice Lokur asked why there is no information out in the public domain about how crores and crores of rupees donated by average citizens and big businesses are being spent
As the mystery around the PM CARES Fund mounts, the Modi government claims that it is not a government fund. A functionary in the Prime Minister’s Oﬃce (PMO) had informed the Delhi High Court that it is not a Government of India fund and its accounts are audited by an auditor a chartered accountant drawn from the panel prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
But the statement of audited accounts is not being released “We don’t know where the money deposited in the PM CARES Fund is going,” Justice Lokur said.
LACK OF TRANSPARENCY
An aﬃdavit ﬁled by an Under Secretary at the PMO who was discharging his functions in the PM Cares Trust on honorary basis, had said the Trust functions with transparency,
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although despite persistent demands by Indian citizens, PM CARES Fund has not released its account statements. The aﬃdavit was ﬁled by the PMO bureaucrat in response to a petition seeking a direction to declare the PM CARES Fund a ‘State Fund’ under the Constitution to ensure transparency in its functioning
According to a report by NDTV, a bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Amit Bansal had ﬁxed the matter for hearing on September 27, 2021. But in the ongoing case the court began hearing arguments on October 6 in a petition seeking that PM CARES Fund be declared as ‘The State’ under Article 12 of the Constitution of India
While dozens of reports and court cases have already raised concerns over the possible misappropriation in the Fund that Modi had created to collect public money to deal with Covid 19 crisis in India, the opacity in the use of the Fund persists.
Since the Modi government continues to handle the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund) in a secret manner, some former bureaucrats had expressed their dissatisfaction with the management of the Fund These former civil servants have highlighted the lack of transparency in the PM CARES Fund, while the Modi government refuses to reveal the details of the Fund and does not entertain the requests ﬁled under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
In their open letter to Modi, according to a report of The Indian Express, a group of 100 retired civil servants have ﬂagged a lack of transparency in the PM CARES Fund, asking for the ﬁnancial details of receipts and expenditures to be made public.
The letter signed by bureaucrats who have held important positions in both the Central and State governments argues that there is a clear absence of transparency in every aspect of the PM CARES Fund.
The signatories lament that neither details of donors and amounts received nor details of expenditures incurred are in the public domain “This opacity is disturbing as the state governments handling the Covid 19 challenge were, and continue to be, sorely in need of ﬁnancial assistance,” the letter says. The text of the letter along with the list of signatories was published by The Wire news service.
CORRUPTION AND IMPUNITY IN MODI EMPIRE
It is being observed that either the foreign leaders or the retired oﬃcials in India criticize Modi constantly for his inappropriate actions But the serving bureaucrats, judges, and
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oﬃcials of law enforcement agencies are so spineless that they never question Modi or his colleagues in the government. That is why Modi and the members of his party are operating with full impunity.
It is not only the PM CARES Fund that is being handled in an opaque manner, actually corruption is so rampant in the entire country that it has become the lifeblood of Indian politicians and top government functionaries.
Since all the anti corruption departments in India exist as defunct outﬁts, the corrupt bureaucrats and politicians keep committing acts of corruption with impunity.
This fact is also stated in its annual country report released in April 2022 by the U.S. Department of State. In an exclusive section, “Corruption and Lack of Transparency in Government, ” the report asserts that the law provides criminal penalties for corruption by oﬃcials at all levels of government in India. However, oﬃcials frequently engage in corrupt practices with impunity while there were numerous reports of government corruption during the year
The U.S. report further reveals that a lack of accountability for oﬃcial misconduct persisted at all levels of government in India, contributing to widespread impunity While investigations and prosecutions of individual cases took place, lax enforcement, a shortage of trained police oﬃcers, and an overburdened and under resourced court system contributed to a low number of convictions, the report said
In addition to the U.S. State Department report, there are multiple global surveys which reveal that corruption is increasing rapidly in all parts of India The U S report adds that corruption in India happens at diﬀerent levels including the payment of bribes to expedite services such as police protection, school admission, water supply, and government assistance
While rampant corruption is happening at every step in India, the untamed bureaucrats are blatantly defying laws that are supposed to prevent corruption. The latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released in January 2022 by Transparency International reveals that India is among the most corrupt countries of the world.
The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, asserts that India, with a score of just 40, is ranked 85 in the world In other words, India is more corrupt than 84 other countries.
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All the anti corruption agencies of India such as the Lokpal, Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), Lokayuktas, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Economic Oﬀences Wings (EOWs) of Police, state police departments, and also the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) as well as the Cabinet Secretariat are working hand in glove with the corrupt government functionaries That is why corruption is increasing exponentially in India.
As the PM CARES Fund has presumably collected thousands of crores of rupees (estimated to be billions of dollars), there is a possibility of huge corruption in the management of the Fund.
The chattering classes believe that Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) use such dubious funds to win elections fraudulently either by manipulating the electronic voting machines (EVMs) or by purchasing voters and legislators of opposition parties in horse trading deals.
But people demand transparency in the PM CARES Fund. “It is necessary that for reasons of probity and adherence to standards of public accountability, the ﬁnancial details of receipts and expenditures be made available in order to avoid doubts of wrongdoing,” the bureaucrats demand in their letter to PM Modi.
SPINELESS JUDICIARY OF INDIA
Earlier, a Supreme Court ruling on August 18, 2020 had rejected a plea seeking directions to transfer all contributions made to the PM CARES Fund to the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF).
According to reports, the Supreme Court rejected a plea seeking directions to transfer contributions made to the PM CARES Fund to the NDRF, a public account which is auditable and publicly available.
The petition, ﬁled by NGO ‘Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL)’ through advocate Prashant Bhushan, had sought a direction to the Centre to transfer all contributions made to the PM CARES Fund, set up for Covid 19 relief, to the NDRF But it is being increasingly observed that the Supreme Court of India does not dare to challenge the decisions of the Modi regime.
Many people believe that after the court’s refusal to probe the corruption in Modi’s Rafale deal, this case of PM CARES Fund is also being brushed under the carpet.
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It appears that the Supreme Court of India judges are scared of crooked politicians who virtually control them. When the case is against the government politicians or top oﬃcials connected with the politicians, the judges do not take any decision that may displease their government bosses
In the past, multiple cases have been either ignored by the Supreme Court arbitrarily or the judgments have gone in favour of the Modi government. These cases include Ayodhya temple case, Rafale corruption case, electronic voting machines (EVM) fraud case, PM CARES Fund case, Article 370 case on Kashmir, Judge Loya death case, Gujarat riots case, Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) case, electoral bonds case, judicial corruption case, sextortion case of former Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, environmental crime case, Pegasus spyware case, and a number of other cases which still await justice.
Thus, the Supreme Court of India has lost its credibility and relevance. If you evaluate the Supreme Court judgments (involving the Modi government or its supporters) through an Artiﬁcial Intelligence (AI) based expert system, you will ﬁnd that almost all the judgments or delays are biased in favour of the government.
But there is no system to punish the judges who pronounce judgments inﬂuenced by their surreptitious links with politicians rather than any judicial reasoning.
While the Modi government is working in an autocratic manner and there is no political opposition to challenge Modi and his government, Modi is not being held accountable for his misdemeanours.
However, with the hope to hold Modi accountable, the former bureaucrats said in their letter: “It is essential that the position and stature of the Prime Minister is kept intact by ensuring total transparency in all dealings the Prime Minister is associated with.”
Fraudulent Manipulation of Aam Aadmi Party Wikipedia Pages
Most people in India know that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of Delhi chief minister (CM) Arvind Kejriwal is facing myriad cases of crime and corruption One of AAP ministers Satyendar Jain is already in jail for a massive money laundering scandal
Another AAP minister Manish Sisodia is facing multiple corruption cases while India’s top investigating agency the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) ﬁled a formal case against him in August 2022. Sisodia is allegedly involved in a liquor scam case and corruption of hundreds of crores of rupees in the construction of classrooms in Delhi schools
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But instead of addressing public queries about their reported crimes, strangely the AAP politicians have been trying to unscrupulously divert the attention to unrelated issues. Now it appears that AAP is perhaps the only political outﬁt in India in which all the politicians are dishonest. (Screenshot of AAP Wikipedia page. Courtesy: Wikipedia)
It is also being increasingly observed that Kejriwal is splurging huge public money on media advertisements to gain false publicity for himself and his party and also to cover up the criminal cases of his party colleagues. There is a possibility that Kejriwal is also complicit in these crime and corruption cases
The Right to Information (RTI) replies by the Directorate of Information and Publicity reveal that the Delhi Government’s spending on advertisements increased by a whopping 4,273% over 10 ﬁnancial years ending with 2021 2022, particularly under Kejriwal’s government
After getting advertisements from Kejriwal, most corrupt media outlets do not question AAP’s wrongdoings and the TV anchors particularly do not interject when AAP leaders divert the issues or tell ﬂagrant lies in TV shows to evade crucial questions
While the Kejriwal government is controlling the traditional media companies with the power of public money, it is being observed that there are attempts to suppress or remove information related to AAP’s corruption cases from new media sites such as Wikipedia, which is a free online encyclopedia.
MANIPULATION OF AAP WIKIPEDIA PAGES
Recently, as a Wikipedia editor, I tried to add information related to AAP’s crime and corruption cases on the AAP Wikipedia page and the Wikipedia pages of AAP politicians such as Manish Sisodia I followed all the Wikipedia guidelines to update AAP pages But to my utter surprise, the information that I was adding on AAP Wikipedia was getting removed by other people.
On August 20, 2022, I raised this issue at one of Wikipedia’s discussion forums (screenshot given below) under the title “Suspect Editors” to complain that my content on
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AAP pages is repeatedly being removed by suspect users. Another Wikipedia editor restored the information because I was rightly updating the AAP pages with the party’s criminal cases. However, the information was again removed dishonestly.
Screenshot of the “Suspect Editors” section that I created on a Wikipedia discussion forum on August 20, 2022 to complain that my content on AAP pages is repeatedly being removed by suspect users.
In the Wikipedia discussion forum, another Wikipedia editor conﬁrmed that the information on Manish Sisodia’s page is being removed surreptitiously and that editor restored the content that I had added about Sisodia’s investigations in the liquor scam case.
Screenshot of the Wikipedia discussion forum where another Wikipedia editor conﬁrmed that the information on Manish Sisodia’s page is being removed surreptitiously
But the AAP sympathizer again removed the content about Sisodia’s investigations and changed it to just “Allegations” to dishonestly give a positive impression even for
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Sisodia’s liquor scam case. Obviously, I was stunned to ﬁnd that AAP has a deep penetration even into the global cyberspace to conceal its criminal cases. Since Wikipedia works with free wheeling processes, it is diﬃcult to ﬁnd if AAP has hired these rogue mercenaries to tamper with the truthful information about AAP’s crimes
Screenshot of the “Do not remove content” section that I created to inform that the truthful content on AAP Wikipedia page should not be removed.
With the headline “Do not remove content” on AAP page, I informed other Wikipedia editors on August 18, 2022 that AAP content under the “Funding” section is being removed, although it is being taken from reliable independent media sources. I also said that another neutral editor has restored the content that I added.
But the restless AAP supporter removed the “Funding” section where I had added content related to AAP’s dubious funding and a massive campaign to highlight misuse of party funds by Kejriwal. I asserted that with the removal of truthful critical information, the AAP page is looking like a PR pamphlet. But it appears that the AAP supporters are working round the clock to remove critical content from AAP pages dishonestly.
I decided to ask the AAP about this information manipulation scandal on Wikipedia. On August 23, 2022, I sent the following email with my queries to Kejriwal
AAP Wikipedia Information
Dear Mr. Arvind Kejriwal Leader, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) New Delhi, India
Copy: Wikipedia for taking immediate action to protect Wikipedia from miscreants
August 23, 2022
Dear Mr Arvind Kejriwal,
I am a journalist As a Wikipedia editor, I have repeatedly observed some suspicious activity on the Aam Aadmi Party page as well as other pages of Aam Aadmi Party leaders
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on Wikipedia. Some Wikipedia editors are either removing the critical information taken from reliable media sources or changing it forcibly to mislead the readers and keep only positive information on Aam Aadmi Party pages.
As a result, the Aam Aadmi Party pages look like publicity pamphlets on Wikipedia and defeat the very purpose of a free encyclopedia, which is supposed to provide truthful, unbiased information to readers.
With this experience, I seek your response on the following questions as I am planning to write an editorial article on the issue of deliberate information suppression on Wikipedia.
1. Has the Aam Aadmi Party or any of its partners, agencies, leaders, or supporters deployed hired workers, volunteers, or bots to tamper with, change, or remove critical information related to Aam Aadmi Party or its leaders on Wikipedia?
2. In particular, does the Aam Aadmi Party or its partners, agencies, etc. know or deploy people who operate on Wikipedia with user identities Venkat TL and Aditi Gyanesh?
3 How does the Aam Aadmi Party operate or manage its own page and the pages of its leaders or campaigns on Wikipedia?
4 Why is the crucial and current information related to Aam Aadmi Party and its leaders such as you (Arvind Kejriwal), Manish Sisodia, Satyendra Kumar Jain, and others being blocked on Wikipedia?
5. You can add any other related information from your side.
Please send me your email response to the questions given above on or before August 26, 2022. [ You can click here to download the pdf of the email I sent to Kejriwal. ]
But I did not get any response from AAP or Kejriwal Therefore, I published the editorial report with the hope that the fraudulent manipulation of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Wikipedia pages would stop and people would know the truth about AAP and its criminal cases
Congress Financial Crime Case
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) of India which investigates serious ﬁnancial crime cases had asked Congress president Sonia Gandhi to appear for questioning in an alleged money laundering case on July 21, 2022.
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Sonia Gandhi, 75, who was asked to appear on June 23, had requested the ED to defer her hearing as she was admitted in a hospital after catching Covid infection. Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi are being questioned by ED in the money laundering case linked to the National Herald newspaper.
While Rahul Gandhi appeared in multiple ED hearings in June, Congress is accusing the government of prime minister (PM) Narendra Modi of implicating Congress leaders in a false case. Instead of responding to the ED summons properly, Congress had asked its workers to protest on the streets across the country so that a confusion could be created around the ED’s action.
Rahul Gandhi and top Congress leaders keep sitting on Twiiter idly to curse Modi from morning to evening These lethargic leaders never come on streets when the Modi government unleashes terror on citizens particularly Indian Muslims who are being attacked violently and whose houses are being bulldozed.
These dishonest and lazy Congress leaders never protested in streets against the Modi government’s misdeeds that have led to unprecedented inﬂation, unemployment, human rights abuses, and extreme misery for 1 4 billion Indians They only tweet and go to sleep while Modi is running the country as a despotic leader.
But the selﬁsh Congress men and women protested vigorously on the roads for a couple of days in June to create a ruckus with the aim to threaten the ED so that it exonerates Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi
Although Congress claims that the Modi government is using the ED to implicate its leaders, there is enough prima facie evidence to suggest that the Congress leaders may be involved in the ﬁnancial crime.
MONEY LAUNDERING CASE
Both Congress leaders are being questioned by ED in the money laundering case linked to the National Herald newspaper. The probe agency seeks to record the statements of Congress leaders under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for the alleged ﬁnancial irregularities in their closely held company, Young Indian
The National Herald is published by Associated Journals Limited (AJL) and owned by Young Indian. Although Congress claims that it is a fabricated case in which its top leaders are being targeted, the party has not given any explicit proof of their innocence.
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If Congress believes that ED is questioning its leaders in a false case, it should make a web compendium to publicly make its position clear instead of making vague statements in press conferences held on Twitter. Similarly, the ED should also hold the investigation in a transparent manner and live stream the hearings with Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. Thus, the investigating agency will not be accused of collusion with the ruling party of führer Modi to harass Modi’s political rivals.
In 2018, the Delhi High Court had dismissed the petition ﬁled by AJL linked with Congress and observed that the order passed by the government justiﬁes the re entry of the premises at 5 A, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi
According to a statement released by India’s Ministry of Housing & Urban Aﬀairs, the court has further ordered that there is no impediment in the way of the government to invoke the provisions of PP Act [ The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971 ] to seek eviction and vacant possession of the property within a period of two weeks by 03.01.2019.
CORRUPTION IN THE DEAL
The case ﬁled by an Indian politician Subramanian Swamy against Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi, and others is known as the National Herald (newspaper) corruption case.
The government statement added that 0.3365 acre of land was allotted to AJL in Delhi in 1962 63 at a concessional rate of Rs 1,25,000 per acre for construction of a ﬁve story building (in addition to basement) for purpose of press on the ground ﬂoor and oﬃces on other ﬂoors.
However, according to the statement, complaints were received regarding misuse of the land. It was found by the inspecting team of the ministry on April 9, 2018 that no printing press was functioning at any ﬂoor of the premises and no paper stock was found anywhere.
In an earlier inspection also, the basement where the press machine should have been, was found vacant. Further, the statement adds that it was also found that almost all shares of AJL were transferred to Young Indian having the same address as that of AJL without any permission of the ministry As per a report of Income Tax Department, in Young Indian company, majority of shares (76%) are held by the Gandhi family and the rest by other Congress leaders Motilal Vora and Oscar Fernandes.
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Although Congress claims that it cannot be a money laundering case because no money is involved in the AJL deal, reports suggest that huge ﬁnancial transactions have been happening to beneﬁt the Congress leaders.
For example, it was observed that instead of using the land given to AJL for press purposes, the Congress leaders are earning a huge sum of money by renting out almost the entire building except one ﬂoor. This alleged wrongdoing by Congress has negated the purpose for which the land was originally allotted.
Since all these violations came to the notice of the government, Show Cause Notices were issued to AJL on June 18, 2018 and again on September 24, 2018.
As AJL could not give any satisfactory reply to these violations, an order for re entry of the premises was issued by the ministry on October 30, 2018 Against this order, the AJL had gone to the Delhi High Court which pronounced its order in December 2018.
As per the complaint ﬁled in the court of the Metropolitan Magistrate, AJL took an interest-free loan of Rs. 90.25 crore (US$ 12 million approximately) from the Congress party. It is alleged that the loan was not repaid.
A closely held company, Young Indian, was incorporated in November 2010 with a capital of Rs 50 lakh (US$ 70,000) and it acquired almost all the shareholding of AJL and all its properties (alleged to be worth Rs. 5,000 crore or US$700 million approximately).
As a large amount of money is involved in the Congress deal in which Congress leaders are apparently beneﬁtting, the ED has suﬃcient grounds to question them in the money laundering case. Subramanian Swamy had alleged criminal misappropriation by both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi The courts had determined that a prima facie case was established in the matter.
Therefore, now the Congress leaders must face the investigation honestly instead of instigating the Congress crowds on the streets.
CORRUPTION MAKES INDIA A CRIMINALIZED KLEPTOCRACY
Today, because of increasing corruption, India is facing the worst existential crisis as the country’s 1.4 billion commoners are under a grave threat from their own political rulers
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who have been exploiting them for the past over seven decades after India got independence from the Britishers in 1947. While almost all Indian politicians are crooks and corrupt many are facing serious criminal charges they have been winning elections by dividing voters on the basis of their caste, creed, color, and religious aﬃliations. They have also been tampering with the electronic voting machines (EVMs) and bribing the voters to win elections fraudulently.
Now, there is a dangerous nexus between these dishonest politicians who want to stay in power by hook or by crook and cunning capitalists who are silently looting the Indian public Together, they have reduced India to a level of criminalized kleptocracy, in which all the four pillars of democracy have collapsed. The courts in India have lost their relevance, bureaucrats are extremely corrupt, while the police and security forces operate as gangs of criminals
Case Reports on Crime, Corruption, and Impunity in India Politicians, bureaucrats, police, and judges have formed a criminal gang in India. The following cases depict how they collude with criminals and commit crimes and corruption with impunity while the ordinary citizens are suﬀering.
Click the following links for details
Cabinet Secretariat Case Ministry of Home Aﬀairs (MHA) Case
Prime Minister Oﬃce (PMO) Case
Delhi Lokayukta Case
DoPT Case CBI Case
Economic Oﬀences Wing (EOW) Case
Delhi Govt Case
Supreme Court Case
Delhi Petitions Committee / CVC Case
NHRC Case School Education Case
Environmental Crime Case
Judicial Corruption Case
Lokpal Removal Case
RCS Corruption Case
AAP Corruption Case Widehouse Scandal
NHRC Case at UN HRC
IAS Corruption Record
Delhi Police Case
Research Report on Corruption in India Year:
IAS Group Corruption Case
2022 By Rakesh Raman Page: 46 of 72
Political and bureaucratic corruption is the main cause of poverty, pollution, sickness, and hunger in India. Political corruption is so extreme that it is diﬃcult to measure it. However, estimates exist for bureaucratic corruption in the country.
In the book 'Corruption in India: The DNA and the RNA' authored by Bibek Debroy and Laveesh Bhandari, it is said that the public oﬃcials in India may be cornering as much as Rs. 92,122 crore ($18.42 billion), or 1.26% of the GDP, through corruption.
The book estimates that corruption is increasing in India by over 100% annually, and most bribery is accrued from the transport industry, real estate, and other public services.
Clean House Free Anti Corruption Service
The free anti corruption service “Clean House” runs as a community court to report about crime and corruption happening in Delhi’s cooperative group housing societies (CGHS). These societies where millions of people live have become dangerous centers of crime and corruption.
The corruption in these housing complexes is being committed by the management committee (MC) members or administrators in connivance with the corrupt oﬃcials of Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) of Delhi Government, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi Police, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), and a few other departments.
The “Clean House” service allows the harassed residents of Delhi to register their complaints through an online form and the case reports are shared with the government departments so that people's grievances could be addressed and they could live in a corruption free environment.
Since most Delhi Government politicians and bureaucrats are highly corrupt, they usually ignore the public complaints
In 2019, the bureaucratic corruption in India through bribery, policy distortion, delinquency, process violation, red tapism, tax terrorism, etc. was estimated to be $100 billion. The ill gotten money with Indian politicians is believed to be in excess of $1 trillion.
Data reveals that many of the biggest scandals have involved high level government oﬃcials and top politicians. These include the 2010 Commonwealth Games scam (US$10 billion), unresolved Rafale scam (US$4 billion), the Adarsh Housing Society scam, the
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Coal Mining scam (US$23 billion), the Mining Scandal in Karnataka, and the Cash for Vote scams.
12 STEPS TO DEAL WITH CORRUPTION IN INDIA
In order to avert a situation of imminent civil unrest because of corruption in the country, the judiciary and law enforcement agencies must take the following 12 preventive steps at least
1. As today’s online interfaces for the public to ﬁle corruption complaints are very weak and ineﬀective, robust technology based online interfaces must be established to monitor and address the corruption complaints in a time bound manner.
2. The services of government oﬃcials who are slow in response to the public or who are not following the statutory procedures must be terminated immediately.
3. When the prima facie case is established and any inquiry is ordered, the corrupt government oﬃcials must be jailed for their criminality while the onus should be on them to prove their innocence
4. The members of the public who complain against corruption should not be harassed by asking them to furnish documentary evidence because no documentary evidence is required in white collar crimes such as fraud or corruption. Only circumstantial evidence in terms of non compliance of statutory procedures should be enough to prosecute and punish the wrongdoers.
5. As it is not possible for most complainants to approach the conventional courts, it is the responsibility of the administration (politicians and bureaucrats) to provide speedy justice to the suﬀering people. This should be part of the essential governance.
6. While dereliction of duty is also a crime, the ineﬃcient and delinquent oﬃcials must be indicted and suspended from their jobs
7. The government has no right to show a public complaint as disposed of by simply sending it to some other department or giving a perfunctory reply to the complainant. A complaint can be disposed of only when the justice is fully delivered as asked by the complainant.
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8. A single case of corruption can harm hundreds or thousands of lives. Therefore, in the courts, corruption should be considered equivalent to crimes such as culpable homicide, attempt to murder, or even murder in some cases.
9. The names of government oﬃcials and politicians who are facing any kind of corruption inquiry must be openly put on exclusive websites created for each State and Central government oﬃces
10. In order to ensure transparency of inquiries, all the communications exchanged between the accused and the inquiry oﬃcers should be made publicly available on the websites.
11. The hearings in corruption cases of bureaucrats and politicians must be on camera public hearings which must also be live streamed in real time.
12. In extreme cases of bureaucratic and political corruption, public execution should be the punishment for the culprits
Untrained Anti-Corruption Oﬃcers in India
One of the main reasons for increasing corruption in India is the lack of skills among the investigating oﬃcers. While the anti corruption laws are good in the country, the law enforcement oﬃcials can’t even read or properly interpret those laws.
Most oﬃcials think that bribery is the only form of corruption and they force the complainants to prove the transaction of bribe money. However, in the white collar crimes such as corruption and fraud, the bribe money is not quite visible.
If a government oﬃcial is not performing his or her duties responsibly or not following the prescribed processes, it is a clear case of corruption. Bureaucratic ineﬃciency or carelessness is a serious form of corruption. After getting the prima facie evidence, the anti corruption agencies should ask the accused to prove their innocence instead of harassing the complainants.
If India wants to tackle the corruption menace, it will have to properly educate its anti-corruption investigating oﬃcers through rigorous training.
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While each State government should have a dedicated complaints monitoring department to handle corruption complaints, such departments should be fully computerized eliminating the need for complainants to meet the government oﬃcials who harass them during physical interactions in order to extort bribes from them
The online interface or “help desk” of the complaints monitoring system should be made available in such a way that the complainants should be able to view the progress of their cases remotely on their computers or mobile devices. The government should take immediate action against the employee if a case gets stuck.
But there are chances of resistance. As most bureaucrats and politicians in India are uneducated or they lack domain expertise, they do not know how to use information technology based systems such as emails, social media, and video conferencing to deliver citizen services. They also lack communication skills that are required to respond to public complaints over traditional or digital channels
These bureaucrats and politicians shamelessly call common people – including women and senior citizens to their oﬃces to hear their complaints which are hardly resolved It is estimated that nearly one third of the traﬃc on roads is of people who go to meet government oﬃcials while all these meetings can be avoided by using digital communication channels such as video conferencing This avoidable traﬃc is also increasing pollution levels in Indian cities.
While Indian bureaucrats and politicians work like viceroys of the British colonial era, they take sadistic pleasure when people stand outside their oﬃces and bow in front of them. These forced meetings in oﬃces are also increasing corruption which is already rampant in government oﬃces
The eCommittee of the Supreme Court of India and the Department of Justice (DoJ) of the Government of India have observed these diﬃculties that commoners are facing. The eCourts Mission Mode Project which is a national eGovernance project for technology enablement of courts in the country encourages the use of digital technology including video conferencing to resolve diﬀerent cases
Therefore, the government oﬃcials who do not know how to use digital systems to provide government services have no right to call the public to their oﬃces. The
TECHNOLOGY INTERFACE TO TACKLE
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government should also terminate the services of such naive oﬃcials who cannot keep pace with the modern digital world.
The government must realize that the current online complaint ﬁling systems in all government oﬃces are utterly useless. There is a need to create dynamic digital interfaces where the complainants should be able to monitor the movement of their complaints (along with oﬃcial remarks) at every stage of their case.
Such interfaces will also increase transparency and reveal the performance of government oﬃcials for delivering online citizen services. The government must also understand that the current administrative systems that are supposed to ensure a corruption free environment are totally dead There is a need to create a new system of governance to check corruption. The sooner the better.
Worse, after arbitrarily closing an unresolved case, the dishonest government oﬃcials show it as a resolved case in their records and the government shamelessly claims that the case is resolved
On the Centralized Public Grievance Redress And Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) of the Government of India, for example, the government claims that it had received 30,23,894 grievances in 2021 of which 21,35,923 were disposed of. This is an utter falsehood. The government has not addressed even a fraction of the complaints that it received.
The same type of fraud is happening on the other online complaint ﬁling and monitoring systems of the government while there is no accountability of the government oﬃcials for their dereliction of duty As they are extremely careless, some of the oﬃcials do not even write their names, designation, and contact details while closing the cases. [ You can click here to see an example. ]
In the case of Delhi Government, for instance, the Public Grievance Monitoring System (PGMS) and the LG Listening Post service are so crude that they hardly address the public grievances including corruption complaints. These systems are managed by unqualiﬁed and mostly corrupt employees who do not give proper response to the public and close the cases without any relief to the complainants. [ You can click here to read a related case study ]
Since the grievances of citizens are not addressed properly, they are left with no other option but to go to courts. But most of them do not get justice in courts which are buried
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under millions of cases that are pending. As administration has collapsed and courts give haphazard judgments, the lawlessness is increasing rapidly in India.
REASONS FOR INCREASING CORRUPTION IN INDIA
These are some of the reasons because of which corruption is increasing exponentially in India. Weak and Complicated Laws. Unskilled Law Enforcement Oﬃcers. Faulty Complaint Handling Mechanism Archaic Administrative Systems Bureaucratic Ineﬃciency Limited Use of Technology
Unfortunately, however, there is no organization which is working to overcome all these challenges. As a result, corruption is spreading like a pandemic disease in India.
With casual letters, the anti corruption outﬁts pose all sorts of clerical hurdles to dissuade the complainants instead of prosecuting and punishing the corrupt oﬃcials. For example, in response to the letter that I sent to collect inputs from Lokpal for my corruption research project, a Lokpal oﬃcial named Rajeev Ranjan sent an email to me on January 3, 2022 with the following message:
Please refer to your e mail dated 2012 2021
1 As per Section 2(e) of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2013 ‘Complaint’ means a complaint, made in such form as may be prescribed, alleging that a public servant has committed an oﬀence punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (49 of 1988) ‘Form’ for complaint has now been notiﬁed on 02 03 2020 It is available on the website of Lokpal of India i.e. http://lokpal.gov.in with Lokpal
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(Complaint) Rules 2020. Guidelines for ﬁlling the complaint are also available on the website.
2 After scrutiny of your complaint, it was found that it was not as per prescribed format of the complaint, notiﬁed vide Lokpal (Complaint) Rules 2020, on 02 03 2020 You may send your complaint, if any, afresh as per these rules You may also refer to Section 14 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2013 which deﬁnes the jurisdiction of the Lokpal.
3. The Complaint should be addressed to ‘Lokpal of India’ and should be sent to following address:
Lokpal of India, Plot No 6, Phase II, Institutional Area, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi 110 070.
On the envelope it should be clearly written “Complaint under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2013”.
Thanks & Regards
You can click here to read the PDF ﬁle of the email from the Lokpal oﬃcial to me With this copy paste standard response, the Lokpal oﬃcial kept telling me about some complaint But it was not a complaint Rather, it was a request to take editorial inputs for my corruption research project.
With this recklessness, however, the Lokpal oﬃce admitted that it does not even read the complaints and rejects them arbitrarily. As a result, the bureaucrats and politicians in the government are committing corruption crimes with impunity.
The anti corruption agencies should, in fact, act as a substitute to courts and handle the public complaints with a formal investigative process to satisfy the complainants completely instead of closing the cases abruptly. If the anti corruption departments have to close a case, they should close it with a “Speaking Order” which has all the reasons for their decision to close the case instead of prosecuting the accused oﬃcials The complainants should be given an opportunity to ﬁle their rejoinders and argue their cases in front of the jury.
Then the burden on courts and pendency of court cases will reduce The workload of courts is increasing because the bureaucrats in government oﬃces are not working
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honestly to resolve public complaints. Therefore, the harassed citizens have no other option but to approach the courts. Since courts and judges are overworked, their judgments are either inordinately delayed or lack justice. As a result, the lawlessness is increasing in India
While all the anti corruption agencies of India are working lawlessly, an example of their carelessness is given with a CVC case. Instead of catching the culprits, CVC sends a carelessly written standard response to all complaints. I have received dozens of such responses from CVC to diﬀerent complaints that I have ﬁled over the years A CVC response that I received on November 2, 2021 is reproduced below
Please refer to your letter dated 14 10 2021 on the subject cited above. Your Complaint 186369/2021/vigilance 8 has been duly examined by the Commission and having regards to the nature of the issues raised therein, the same has been forwarded to CVO, GOVT OF NCT OF DELHI for necessary action
2. As the Commission has sent your complaint for necessary action, it does not expect any report from the CVO of the organization concerned The CVO is expected to scrutinize the complaint within a period of one month of receipt of the complaint from the Commission and decide if any action is required. You may, therefore if required ﬁnd out the status of your complaint from CVO, GOVT OF NCT OF DELHI
3 The Commission would not entertain any further correspondence in this regard
The corrupt CVC bureaucrats do not even give the contact details of the CVO (Chief Vigilance Oﬃcer) where they send the complaint because they want to protect the corrupt oﬃcials. And the CVOs never respond and never tell the reason why they have not taken any action on the complaint sent to them by the CVC The entire process is designed to protect the corrupt oﬃcials. As a result of the delinquency of anti corruption oﬃcials, corruption is increasing rapidly in all parts of India.
NEED TO REDEVELOP CORRUPTION PROSECUTION PROCESSES
If the Lokpal, CVC, DoPT, CBI, police, or other departments really want to weed out corruption from the country, they must change their archaic complaints management processes and hire skilled domain experts who have thorough process management and
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communications skills. A complainant should be allowed to freely ﬁle the complaint in any format - paper or digital - after providing their personal details and authenticating them on a properly built complaints management website of a particular anti corruption department The anti corruption department must immediately send an acknowledgement to the complainant of the receipt of the complaint along with a registration number.
If required, it should be the responsibility of the department oﬃcial to convert the complaint into the oﬃcial format If a complaint has even the slightest circumstantial or direct evidence of corruption, the department should send a formal notice along with the complaint to the accused oﬃcial with the direction to respond within 15 days. A copy of this notice should be sent to the complainant or uploaded on the complaints management website with an alert sent to the complainant on their email or mobile phone. The name and contact of the investigating oﬃcer should also be communicated to the complainant explicitly.
If the accused oﬃcial does not respond as directed or does not give their response explicitly to each and every point mentioned in the complaint, it should be assumed that the oﬃcial is guilty Then the department should move forward with the prosecution process without requiring any special sanctions for prosecution. Since corruption is rampant in India, the anti-corruption authorities should always ﬁnd reasons to prosecute and punish the corrupt oﬃcials instead of ﬁnding excuses to exonerate them without prosecution
In the next step, the accused oﬃcial should be asked to appear for online or physical hearings where the complainant should also be allowed to participate. The complaints management website should be so eﬀective that it should allow the accused oﬃcials, complainants, and the investigating oﬃcers to monitor each step of the investigation and prosecution
In order to ensure transparency, the comments of each oﬃcial or complainant in the entire process lifecycle should be available under the case on the complaints management website. As said before, a case should be closed only with a “Speaking Order” giving all the legal and objective reasons for closing the case without convicting the accused oﬃcials.
In the past few years, I have ﬁled dozens of complaints against corrupt oﬃcials. But all the cases were closed by the CVC, Lokpal, DoPT, police, etc. without any investigation
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and without any prosecution. On the government's online Centralized Public Grievance Redress And Monitoring System (CPGRAMS), for example, I have ﬁled 102 complaints up to October 3, 2022.
The Centralized Public Grievance Redress And Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) has closed 91 of the 102 complaints that I have ﬁled up to October 3, 2022 But none of my complaints were addressed and all of them were closed arbitrarily
While the CPGRAMS website shows that it has closed 91 of the 102 complaints and only 11 are pending, the truth is that none of my complaints was addressed and all of them were closed arbitrarily The CPGRAMS and other such public interfaces are being run in a fraudulent manner by corrupt oﬃcials. But they are not being held accountable for their wrongdoings.
The decision to close the case should not be based on whimsical grounds used by the investigating oﬃcers or other authorities. And the complainants should be allowed to ﬁle their rejoinders and argue the case to convince the authorities to convict the accused oﬃcials. If there is any lapse in the investigation or the case is closed arbitrarily, the investigating oﬃcer should be held accountable for dereliction of duty and complicity in crime.
Now, the same wrong practice of writing useless letters and closing the cases without following due process is being used by other government departments which are full of corrupt oﬃcials. If all these cases are handled honestly, a large number of corrupt bureaucrats and politicians will be jailed. Their number is so big that separate jails will have to be built to imprison them.
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Circulation of the India Corruption Research Report 2022
This is the ﬁrst comprehensive report on corruption in India Besides its circulation in India, this research report will be shared with the world’s top anti corruption organizations, industry associations, politicians, UN agencies, World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Economic Forum, and others so that they should be cautious about rampant corruption in India before entering into any cultural or business alliance with Indian governments or private entities.
Threats to Me: As a journalist and anti corruption activist, I have been receiving multiple threats including death threats from the criminals who want to suppress my voice. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India had directed the Delhi Police to take action so that I could be protected The NHRC issued its latest notice on June 11, 2021 with the direction to the Commissioner of Delhi Police to investigate the matter and ﬁle its report. After receiving a perfunctory and false report from the corrupt police oﬃcials, the NHRC closed the case and never took action against the police or the culprits I have again approached NHRC and other international authorities with the request to take action in order to protect me and my rights. [ You can click here to read my letter dated August 26, 2021 sent to NHRC and other international authorities. ]
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: RAKESH RAMAN
Rakesh Raman is a national award winning journalist and founder of the humanitarian organization RMN Foundation Besides working at senior editorial positions with leading media companies, he was writing an exclusive edit page column regularly for The Financial Express (a daily business newspaper of The Indian Express Group).
Nowadays, for the past 12 years, he has been running his own global news services on multiple news sites He runs various environment protection, education awareness, and anti corruption campaigns, and publishes digital magazines and research reports on diﬀerent subjects. Earlier, he had been associated with the United Nations (UN) through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a digital media expert to help businesses use technology for brand marketing and business development.
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At present, Rakesh is associated with the Varieties of Democracy (V Dem) Project as a Country Expert for India to provide expert research inputs on multiple topics pertaining to democracy and governance. The V Dem Project is managed by V Dem Institute under the University of Gothenburg, Sweden Currently, he is also working as an editor for Wikipedia, which is a free online global encyclopedia.
He has launched a new editorial section / microsite “Power Play: Lok Sabha Election 2024 in India” to cover the election news, events, and political campaigns. He has also launched a nationwide campaign to introduce social democracy in India in order to build an egalitarian society in which all citizens could enjoy equal rights, opportunities, freedoms, and access to justice.
In his anti corruption activities, he participated in a global petition led by Germany based international organization Transparency International to call for the UN General Assembly Special Session against Corruption, UNGASS 2021, to direct all countries to set up central, public registers of beneﬁcial ownership.
He runs a community driven anti corruption social service “Clean House” to help the residents of Delhi raise their voice against the growing corruption and injustice in housing societies where millions of people suﬀer because of rampant corruption and lawlessness He has also formed an environment protection group called Green Group in New Delhi, which is the most polluted national capital in the world.
As Rakesh has been facing constant threats including death threats for his editorial and anti corruption work, the Paris based international organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) that defends freedom of journalists has urged the Indian government to save him from threats and persecution You can click here to read his full proﬁle
Editor, RMN News Service [ Website ] Founder, RMN Foundation [ Website ] 463, DPS Apts., Plot No. 16, Sector 4 Dwarka, Phase I, New Delhi 110 078, India WhatsApp / Mobile: 9810319059 | Contact by Email Perfunctorygovernmentlettersaregivenbelowasexhibitsonthefollowingpages. Research Report on Corruption in India Year: 2022 By Rakesh Raman Page: 58 of 72
Secretariat, Government of India,
Group of Secretaries.
Exhibit 1: The
Memorandum dated 29th August 2022 has urged the Cabinet
corruption cases of IAS oﬃcers through the
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Exhibit 2: The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) with its Oﬃce Memorandum dated 28th June 2022 has urged the Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India, to investigate the corruption cases of IAS oﬃcers through the Group of Secretaries. Research Report on Corruption in India Year: 2022 By Rakesh Raman Page: 60 of 72
Exhibit 3: DoPT letter File No. 104/53/2022 AVD IA dated 9th March, 2022 sent to Mr. D.K. Jain, Under Secretary (VCC), Cabinet Secretariat. Research Report on Corruption in India Year: 2022 By Rakesh Raman Page: 61 of 72
Exhibit 4: The letter dated May 5, 2022 from the DoPT to Cabinet Secretariat to hold investigation into the involvement of Anurag Jain (IAS), Pankaj Kumar (IAS), and Devinder Singh (IAS) in the corruption scandal. Research Report on Corruption in India Year: 2022 By Rakesh Raman Page: 62 of 72
Exhibit 5: Letter dated May 13, 2021 from DoPT conﬁrming the corruption case inquiry against the then DDA vice chairman Anurag Jain, IAS. Research Report on Corruption in India Year: 2022 By Rakesh Raman Page: 63 of 72
Exhibit 6: Letter dated July 5, 2021 from DoPT about the conﬁrmation of complaint against Anurag Jain (IAS), the then vice chairman, DDA Research Report on Corruption in India Year: 2022 By Rakesh Raman Page: 64 of 72
Exhibit 7: The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) with its letter dated 23.08.2022 has simply forwarded my complaints to MHA and DoPT, but no action was taken. Research Report on Corruption in India Year: 2022 By Rakesh Raman Page: 65 of 72
Exhibit 8: With its reminder letter dated 16.03.2020, India’s top anti corruption authority CVC asked the investigative agency CBI to take action in this case of corruption involving bureaucrats and others. The CBI ignored CVC’s advice. Research Report on Corruption in India Year: 2022 By Rakesh Raman Page: 66 of 72
Exhibit 9: Letter dated 20.01.2021 from the Lokpal oﬃce informing me about the progress of investigation into the case that I have ﬁled against bureaucrats and others in the corruption racket. But no action was taken. Research Report on Corruption in India Year: 2022 By Rakesh Raman Page: 67 of 72
10: Letter No. 74/R ACP/Sec VII/EOW dated 31.08.2022 from the oﬃce of the Assistant Commissioner of Police Delhi, Economic Oﬀences Wing (EOW), Police Station, Mandir Marg Complex, New Delhi to the Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS), Old Court Building, Parliament Street, New Delhi 01. But no action was taken.
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Exhibit 11: The letter dated April 22, 2022 from the DoPT to the Ministry of Home Aﬀairs (MHA) to hold investigation into the involvement of Sanjeev Khirwar (IAS) in the environment scandal including ﬂoor area ratio (FAR) construction. Research Report on Corruption in India Year: 2022 By Rakesh Raman Page: 69 of 72
Exhibit 12: The letter dated April 22, 2022 from the DoPT to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to hold an investigation into the involvement of Tanmay Kumar (IAS) in the environment scandal including ﬂoor area ratio (FAR) construction Research Report on Corruption in India Year: 2022 By Rakesh Raman Page: 70 of 72
Exhibit 13: Mr. N.K. Gupta of CPCB sent a letter dated May 24, 2022 to negligent oﬃcers at Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and DPCC who ignored the letter and did not take any action to stop harmful construction and pollution in Delhi’s housing societies. All of them ti i th Wid h d l
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Exhibit 14: Letter dated 08.09.2022 from the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) sent to CVO Delhi Police to take action in Complaint No 206076/2022/vigilance 8/524557 Research Report on Corruption in India Year: 2022 By Rakesh Raman Page: 72 of 72