Need to strengthen institutions like CAG, CVC: Sushma Swaraj

File Photo
File Photo

New Delhi, Feb 11 (PTI) : Taking a dig at government’s contention of blaming vigilance and investigating agencies for policy paralysis, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj today said though their vigour does not suit the ruling class many a time, institutions like CAG and CVC should be strengthened in a healthy democracy.

She said often critical voices are heard against organisations who have been given powers of vigilance by the Constitution.

“Recently a statement came which disturbed me that institutions like CAG and CVC are an obstacle in progress. I would like to state from this stage that it is not a healthy thinking. This thinking is harmful for democracy.

“The entire constitutional format is based on checks and balances. Vigilance and prevention are a way to strengthen the Constitution,” Swaraj said during the inauguration of CVC’s golden jubileee celebrations here.

It is therefore necessary to strengthen the organisations which have been given powers by the Constitution to keep vigilance over different arms of the democratic government.

“Any deterioration in these organisations will also adversely impact democracy,” the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha said.

She said CVC realised its powers after the CVC Act 2003 came into being and started working with new vigour.

“But many a time this vigour of investigating agencies does not suit the ruling class. The rulers can be of central and state,” she said.

Addressing a session of All India Congress Committee (AICC) last month here, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said that growth rate had slowed down because clearances were not granted by bureaucrats to infrastructure projects for the fear of CAG and CVC.

“We agree that there are certain domestic reasons responsible for the slowdown in our growth rate.Infrastructure projects do not get expeditious clearances. Bureaucrats are hesitant to take decisions fearing that CVC and CAG will raise questions over their decisions,” he had said.

The government had said AG and other investigating agencies like CBI were sometimes overstepping their jurisdictions resulting in “policy paralysis”.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram had also in November last year come down heavily on investigating agencies and CAG for “overstepping” their limits by attempting to convert bonafide executive decisions into either crimes or abuse of authority.

Referring to CVC’s golden jubilee, Swaraj said 50 years is an important stage in an individual’s life. It is a stage to think “what we lost, what we gained”.

“The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) was set up through a Parliamentary resolution in 1964. For about 40 years, CVC functioned under a Parliamentary resolution. But in 2003, it got a legal standing. I was a part of the government so I was involved in the process of framing the CVC Act 2003, then,” she said.



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