Special investigative team and fast-track courts a must

Virbhadra Singh’s case is yet another example for what is wrong with our politics today. The case that he is facing involves graft issues dating back to 1989! A good chunk of our young population was not even born at that time. The prosecution has alleged that in 1989, then CM Virbhadra Singh along with his wife had taken Rs 3 lakh from Ambuja Cements and Rs 2 lakh from Mohan Meakin brewery as bribe in return for helping them set up a cement plant and an effluent treatment plant. Thus, we have a situation where someone who is possibly corrupt has worked his way up to become a stalwart of the UPA with over 20 years of political life since this accusation. Firstly, if these allegations were indeed true, what else might he have indulged in over these decades? Secondly, how can we tolerate a system that takes 20+ years to figure out if someone is corrupt? Thirdly, even if courts take their time shouldn’t political parties take care to fill their ranks with people who have clean records? Lastly, looking ahead, considering that Virbhadra Singh might be the next CM of HP what are the odds of this case making its way through the higher courts in a reasonable time frame? Shouldn’t there be a mechanism to expedite such cases?

Another case in point is that of Mr. Pranab Mukherjee who is in line to become our next President. The “cushy job” of President is a nice reward for someone who has faithfully served the Gandhis despite having many opportunities to “pull a V.P. Singh” on them. The President-in-waiting has a terrific record as a political master operator over the years despite never having really enjoyed a mass base. (He mostly made his way through the Rajya Sabha). Besides, he has plenty to answer for – dating back to records about Netaji Subhas Bose’s disappearance to the Scorpene defense deals. Most importantly, at a time when corruption is front and center in peoples’ minds, he was privy to the coveted list of black money holders and chose not to act. Can he be expected to remain above politics and operate with no bias whatsoever? Shouldn’t there be a mechanism to expedite cases of corruption before before anointing him the President?

Click here to read the rest of the article in The Economic Times