Tag Archives: anticorruption

Indian activist slams police restrictions on his anti-corruption fast

NEW DELHI (BNO NEWS) — Indian activist Anna Hazare on Saturday slammed authorities for imposing restrictions on his planned fast against corruption, the Hindustan Times reported.

Hazare wrote to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ahead of his fast and slammed the conditions imposed by Delhi Police on him for giving permission to fast. He questioned the rule under which restrictions are being imposed on him by police and said that no democracy has such restrictions for a peaceful protest.

The 73-year-old plans to start fasting on August 16 and to continue until the government passes an anti-corruption bill. However, Delhi police only gave him permission to fast for no more than three days. Hazare has refused to sign an undertaking that the fast will end within that period of time.

Earlier this month, supporters of Hazare burned copies of the government’s version of the Lokpal bill and slammed the legislation for exempting the prime minister, the judiciary and lawmakers. They called it the “anti-poor” law for excluding the office of the Prime Minister from the purview of a new ombudsman.

Hazare threatened to continue protesting the exclusion of some recommendations made by civil society representatives from the bill until August 16. The Gandhian social activist went on hunger strike in April to force the government to form a joint panel of ministers and activists to draft the Lokpa bill.

The bill follows a series of corruption scandals involving government officials. Transparency International ranked India, one of few yet to ratify the United Nations convention against corruption, at 78, placing it below neighboring rival China.

Activists burn copies of Indian anti-corruption bill

NEW DELHI (BNO NEWS) — Activists on Thursday burned copies of a new anti-corruption bill introduced by the Indian government, slamming the legislation for exempting the prime minister, the judiciary and lawmakers, the Times of India reported.

Supporters of social activist Anna Hazare burned copies of the government’s version of the Lokpal bill, calling it the “anti-poor” law for excluding the office of the Prime Minister from the purview of a new ombudsman. The proposed legislation exempts the serving prime minister, but he can be investigated for any wrongdoing once he leaves office.

The draft bill also excludes the judiciary and any action of a member of Parliament or any parliamentary committee. “To protest the unilateral, high-handed decision of the government, the copies of the bill will be burnt from today,” said civil society member Arvind Kejriwal.

Hazare threatened to continue protesting the exclusion of some recommendations made by civil society representatives from the bill until August 16, when he will go on hunger strike. The 73-year-old Gandhian social activist went on hunger strike in April to force the government to form a joint panel of ministers and activists to draft the Lokpa bill.

Meanwhile, the Indian government slammed the burning of copies by activists. “It’s an insult and an affront to Parliament,” human resource development Kapil Sibal said, as reported by the Times of India.

Sibal added that if Hazare had differing views on the Lokpal Bill, he should present these before the standing committee of Parliament which will look into it.

The bill follows a series of corruption scandals involving government officials. Transparency International ranked India, one of few yet to ratify the United Nations convention against corruption, at 78, placing it below neighboring rival China.

Indian police break up yoga guru’s anti-corruption hunger strike

NEW DELHI (BNO NEWS) — At least 30 people were injured on Sunday when Indian police broke up yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s anti-corruption hunger strike in New Delhi, officials in a hospital said.

The protesters were injured in clashes with security personnel and Ramdev supporters, some of whom were carrying iron rods, stones and fire extinguishers. Policemen threw back the stones hurled at them, and also fired tear gas, choking and blinding hundreds.

According to doctors, some 30 mildly injured people were brought to the hospital. Most of the injured suffered wounds on their limbs.

Authorities said that they decided to end the hunger strike because the sprawling ground had been given for a yoga camp and not for protests.

India’s most popular yoga guru began his anti-corruption hunger strike on Saturday after a two-hour yoga practice along with thousands of his followers in New Delhi. Tens of thousands of Ramdev’s followers also went on hunger strike in Mumbai, Jammu and some other cities in solidarity with him.

The yoga guru wants to repatriate Indian illicit funds supposedly stashed away in offshore banks. Ramdev has said that this ‘black money’ suspected of being funds paid for bribes or other illegal transactions and stashed away to evade taxes could provide a huge boost to the Indian economy. His other proposals also include introducing the death penalty for corrupt officials and dispose of graft lawsuits within one year.

On Wednesday, the Indian government failed to convince Ramdev to call off his anti-corruption hunger strike. Top ministers invited him to the capital to negotiate his demands since Prime Minister Manmohan Singh feared that an April-like situation, when another anti-corruption five-day hunger strike forced him to give in to his demands, would happen.

In April, Gandhian social activist Anna Hazare launched a similar campaign that forced the government to form a joint panel of ministers and activists to draft a tough ombudsman bill – the Jan Lokpal Bill.

Transparency International ranked India, one of few yet to ratify the United Nations convention against corruption, at 78, placing it below neighboring rival China.

Russian president signs anti-corruption law

MOSCOW (BNO NEWS) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday signed a new law that introduces larger fines for bribery and commercial corruption, the Kremlin said.

The bill, approved by Russia’s parliament earlier this month, raised fines, which vary between a minimum of 25,000 rubles ($ 916) and a maximum of 500 million rubles ($ 18.3 million).

“It makes it possible to impose penalties other than imprisonment on guilty persons, while at the same time being severe enough to make people guilty of committing or aiding bribery realize that the state can impose penalties that not only affect their personal freedom but also their property,” Medvedev said in a meeting with Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika.

The new law also introduces large administrative fines for legal entities if they are found to be guilty of administrative offenses.

“I hope this will prove a useful innovation for our country and help us to fight corruption, which is still a very serious and widespread problem in Russia,” the president added.  

Last year, an opinion poll said that over half of Russians (53%) think corruption has increased in their country during the last three years. In the 2010 Corruption Perception Index, Russia was ranked 154th of 178, below countries like Kenya, Laos and Papua New Guinea.