Saturday, August 29, 2009

Declaration of assets – Much ado about nothing

After Punjab & Haryana High Court Judge Justice Mr. Kannan and Karnataka HC Judge Justice Mr. Shylendra Kumar declared their assets and brought pressure on Apex Court to declare the assets of Supreme Court Judges also, the elite media is elated. While one segment views it as revolution in transparency in respect of those holding public office, others are euphoric over the effect that such disclosure will have on checking corruption or amassing of wealth by extraneous means by others. It is surprising that the issue has bitten the judiciary from the legislators who have been forced to reveal something during the elections. The effect of affidavits filed by our politicians on the levels of corruption is better not discussed. In this ocean of bribery and manipulation, one can well imagine the impact of disclosure of assets. It can be proudly said that we compare with the developed world where such asset declaration is made by the judiciary. Right from election funding to corporate frauds, the so-called developed nations lag no behind in all things shady and loathsome. These voluntary or administrative measures are cosmetic as in the next 100 years you will not get a property deed registered without bribe, you will not get a motor driving license without bribe or your building plan sanctioned without greasing a few. If from next year, no RTO demands speed money, one can laud the campaign on asset declaration. Pessimistic one may say but reality is often synonymous with it.

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