CVC seeks CBI report over ‘media leaks’ about Jagan

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has sought a report from the CBI over allegations that information regarding the investigation against Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy in the illegal assets case was selectively leaked to some journalists.

The CVC move followed complaints from leaders of the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) that the CBI was leaking information to damage Jagan Mohan Reddy's reputation. YSRCP leader and Jagan Mohan's mother Y S Vijayalakshmi showed cellphone records of calls made and received by CBI Joint Director V V Lakshminarayana, who is heading the investigation.

CVC Pradeep Kumar, who was in Hyderabad on Saturday, said that the Commission has sought the report based on two complaints. "We have called for a report from the CBI. We will take their feedback and then decide what to do," he said.

Meanwhile, speaking at an event to mark the ninth of the Vigilance Study Circle here, Kumar said that the fight against corruption should also focus on the other side in deals suspected of being corrupt.

"When somebody does give bribe and there is a favour given, each is a complement of the other. When you are talking about supply-side corruption, somebody wants a favour in the form of licences, leasing rights, so many other things. They give money to get a quid pro quo . It forms part of corruption," Kumar said.

"For the past five decades, our anti-corruption efforts have largely focused on demand-side corruption which is the public servant who receives or solicits bribe. With a liberalised economy and changing dynamics between public and private sector, there is a need to focus on the supply side of corruption, that is, offering of bribe. Various regulatory changes in this direction are being contemplated,'' he said.

Kumar said that the CVC has formed a task force to put a Knowledge Management System in place that would help the world's anti-corruption agencies exchange information and knowledge to fight corruption. "Fighting corruption is no longer a purely domestic affair as corruption has taken international dimensions. Proceeds of corruption are laundered in other countries through various forms of illicit financial transactions and it is proving difficult to take action against foreign companies that are involved in bribery in India. International cooperation in corruption investigation has to be given priority now,'' he said.

While it cannot be said with certainty that corruption in the country has increased, the negative perception about corruption has certainly increased, he said, adding that although the situation may appear grim, one should not be under the impression that nothing is being done to check corruption.

Kumar said that a law to regulate the delivery of public services was being formulated and it would help fight petty corruption."We have also recommended enactment of a False Claims Law that aims to empower citizens to fight corruption. Under this, any citizen can seek punishment and recovery of money from any contractor who charges extra money from the government and delivers less than the contracted quality or quantity of goods and services. The Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials Bill, 2011 has also been proposed," he said.

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