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Last Updated Friday July 28 2017 10:01 PM IST

Sasikala verdict rekindles demand for Jan Lokpal Bill

Justice K. Narayana Kurup
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Sasikala verdict rekindles demand for Jan Lokpal Bill Sasikala | File Photo

V.K. Sasikala is a symptom and a symbol. She has been showing the symptoms of a foolhardiness that power will protect her even as she awaited the court verdict in a corruption case. She is the symbol of a situation where corruption thrives in the corridors of power.

The twist in the tale of J. Jayalalithaa’s influential companion is proof of the strength of the system that brings to justice politicians who cling to power even after tainted by corruption scandals.

Be you never so high, the law is above you -- public personalities should always bear in mind this principle when they deal with the power bestowed on them by the people.

Sasikala’s co-accused in a corruption case was the chief minister of a state. Jayalalithaa died in a hospital bed even before the Supreme Court gave its verdict in the case but that has not affected the outcome.

The judgement that sentenced Sasikala was a landmark that boosted the confidence of the people. Top leaders are seldom convicted in a corruption case.

Large scams have been reported in democracies, dictatorships and communist systems. Many mighty leaders have fallen from power. Still people in power believe they will not be caught when they indulge in corruption. Even if caught, they hope to manipulate the investigation or influence the witnesses or even find ways to stay away from jail.

Corruption engulfs each anti-graft mechanism in the hierarchy of power. The best example comes from the Philippines. Former president Ferdinand Marcos and wife Imelda were booted out after they squandered public money. Corazon Aquino rode to power on people’s expectations for a clean government.

The arrest of some of her close relatives in corruption cases forced her to form a presidential commission to ensure good governance. The same commission was to face corruption charges. One of the commissioners was arrested and the chairman of the commission resigned. This is how corruption pervades all sections.

Everyone, from politicians to the public, condemns corruption but it is never eliminated. The Sasikala verdict has revived the demands for a Lok Pal bill. A strong legislation to fight corruption is the need of the hour.

Sasikala has lost the post of the chief minister in the last minute, thanks to the court verdict. Such judgements may prod politicians to think twice before indulging in corruption.

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