04 April 2023
NEW DELHI: PM Narendra Modi on Monday did not mince words while extending full backing to central probe agencies, saying the Centre doesn’t lack the “political will to fight corruption” and officers should act against the corrupt, however powerful, without hesitation.
At a gathering to mark the 60th year of CBI, the PM
asked officers not to be deterred by the power of the corrupt and the
ecosystem created by them to tarnish the image of investigating
(corrupt) have been part of the government and system for years. Even
today they are in power in some states... but you have to focus on your
work. No corrupt person should be spared. There should be no laxity in
our efforts. This is the wish of the country, of the countrymen,” he
This is the second time in recent days the PM supported action by central probe agencies amid allegations they are being used as handmaidens of the Centre, and days after some opposition parties moved the Supreme Court against “misuse” of these agencies.
'Graft no ordinary crime, snatches rights of poor'
At the CBI's diamond jubilee celebrations on Monday, PM Modi mentioned how the investigating agency has instilled trust amongst common citizens through its work. "CBI's name is on everyone's lips. It is like a brand for truth and justice. The agency's chief responsibility is to rid the country of corruption which is not an ordinary crime. It snatches the rights of the poor, begets many other crimes and is the biggest obstacle in the path of justice and democracy," he said.
The PM said India
inherited a legacy of corruption at the time of Independence and
lamented that instead of removing it, some people kept nourishing this
malady. "There was a competition under way on who will set a new record
of corruption," he said. The scams and the prevailing sense of impunity
led to the destruction of the system, and an atmosphere of policy
paralysis brought development to a standstill.
He said Internet banking and UPI stand in stark contrast to the earlier malaise of "phone banking" malaise, where loans worth thousands of crores of rupees were sanctioned on the basis of phone calls from influential people.
The PM mentioned that the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act had so far enabled confiscation of properties of fugitive offenders, worth about Rs 20,000 crore.
Highlighting the benefits of direct benefit transfer (DBT), he said around Rs 2.25 lakh crore was saved from going into wrong hands as beneficiaries were getting their full entitlement with the trinity of 'Jan Dhan, Aadhaar, and Mobile'. Over 8 crore fake beneficiaries have been removed from the system, he added.
He said interviews were abolished in Group C and Group D services at the Centre to weed out corruption.
Modi said India's economic power is growing while those who create obstacles are also rising. He warned that attacks on India's social fabric, its unity and brotherhood, and its economic interests and institutions would also increase.
The PM also launched the agency's Twitter account besides three offices in Nagpur, Shillong and Pune.
THE INVISIBLE ENEMY