Lamenting corruption involving public servants, the Madras High Court Thursday came down on "vote for cash" describing it as "a slam on democracy" and said even the judiciary was not immune to the evil practice.
Justice S M Subramaniam said just as the terrorists were declared as anti-social elements, the corrupt who act against development of "our great nation are also to be declared anti-nationals".
The judge made the stinging observations while dismissing a petition by a government employee, suspended on graft charges, seeking his re-instatement.
Lambasting the government staff who indulge in corruption, he said bribing of public authorities starts right from the birth of a child and continues till the cemeteries where bribes are given to get favourable burial slots.
Of late, "popular corruption" was "vote for cash", the judge said.
"Our great nation had large number of statesmen. However, now, the concept of vote for cash was being developed by many political parties," he said.
"An ambitious citizen, who would like to become a member of parliament or a member of legislative assembly, in order to contribute his knowledge, experience for enacting good laws for the development of the society and to our great nation are indulging in illegal activities of vote for cash. It is undoubtedly a slam on democracy," the Judge said.
If these activities were allowed, the very expectation of development among the people would be demolished and they would be left frustrated, he said.
Equally, a few voters were not realising the sanctity and the value of the right to vote, he noted.
Turning to the judiciary, Justice Subramaniam said: "Corruption in judiciary is the greatest enemy to the Constitution."
"Judiciary must also initiate drastic measures in order to control corruption in various forms," he added.
Referring to various other fields, including the vigilance department, affected by the menace of graft, he said though, cases were registered and corrupt officials prosecuted under the Prevention of Corruption Act, "such actions are a mole in the mountain".
"Large scale corruptions are, though noticed, not prosecuted. For that also, bribes are offered," he said, adding that the worst form of corruption was happening at the burial grounds.
"We the people are able to tolerate even corruption in the burial ground. Unless the public servant in the burial ground maintained by the state or local bodies, are bribed, the dead body will not get appropriate timings for burial. The right of decent burial is also denied," the Judge said in his order.
Noting that only a non-corrupt public administration can help preserve values of Constitutional rights of the citizen, Justice Subramaniam said providing a non-corrupt administration by the State/Union was also an integral part of the Constitutional mandate.
If the situation was allowed to continue, undoubtedly it would worsen and the next generation would face the evil consequences of corruption in its advanced form, which will shaken the pillars of the democratic country, he said.
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