"Government is Committed to Ensuring Speedy Completion of Investigations, Strengthening the Process of Prosecution and Bringing Necessary Reforms in CBI"
-says the Prime Minister, while inaugurating the 18th Biennial Conference of the CBI and State Anti-corruption Bureaux -2011

Press Release
New Delhi , 21-10-2011

The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today inaugurated the 18th Biennial Conference of the CBI and State Anti-corruption Bureaux, at the Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. Union Home Minister Shri P. Chidambaram, Union Law Minister Shri Salman Khursheed and Minister of State for Personnel Shri V Narayanasamy graced the occasion.

In his inaugural speech, the Prime Minister said the country is at the cusp of far reaching changes in the approach and in institutional mechanisms to fight corruption. He said ensuring transparency and accountability by public authorities, building effective mechanisms for punishing those indulging in corrupt practices, while protecting those exposing wrongdoings have acquired an urgency as never before. He however said that the distinction between a deliberate attempt at wrongdoing, and honest mistakes in decision-making processes, should not be forgotten.

Dr Manmohan Singh said as part of efforts to reduce opportunities for corruption, the Government is working on minimizing discretionary powers of public authorities. He said a Group of Ministers is considering the issue of a public procurement law to minimize irregularities in the award of government contracts. To reduce pendency of CBI cases under trial, the Prime Minister announced the decision to set up a committee under a retired Supreme Court judge to review cases pending trial, which are more than ten years old, and suggest ways and means for their speedy disposal.

The Prime Minister emphasized the government's support to the CBI to ensure speedy and timely completion of investigations, to strengthen the processes of prosecution and to bring in reforms in the organization, wherever necessary. The Prime Minister expressed the hope to see the establishment of a strong and effective Lokpal in the coming months. He said whatever be the structure and functions of the Lokpal, the CBI will continue to play a very important role in efforts for ensuring probity in our public life.

The Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Shri V Narayanasamy reiterated the government's determination to fight corruption. He said a Group of Senior Ministers is formulating and putting in place a roadmap for strategizing and spelling out measures to tackle corruption in public life. Sh Narayanasamy said that in the battle against corruption, anti-corruption agencies are one of the most important and powerful apparatus. He said people look up to these agencies and expect them to go after those who are responsible, no matter what may be their position or their affiliation.

In his welcome speech, Director CBI, Shri Amar Pratap Singh said in any effort to strengthen the mechanism to combat corruption, CBI must be an integral and independent component, and at no cost should the CBI be bifurcated. Director CBI opined that in order to fight corruption, there is a need for educating the younger generation, and added that CBI has already made a humble beginning for creating anti-corruption awareness among school children by organizing regular visits of students to CBI Headquarters. Shri Amar Pratap Singh said corruption at the grass root level which mostly affects the lives of the average citizen is a result of an imbalance in the demand and supply of goods. He added that with improvement in service delivery systems in certain sectors, opportunities for indulging in corrupt practices have greatly reduced. Shri Singh said if we are able to cater to the daily needs of our citizens and also minimize their interface with the bureaucracy, people could be insulated to a large extent from corruption.

On this occasion, the Prime Minister also gave away Police Gallantry Medal to Shri S.J.M.Gillani, IPS, DIG/Dy. Director(Admn.), CBI HQ, New Delhi; President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service to four CBI officers; Smt. Suman Bala Sahoo, IPS, HoZ, CBI, Kolkata Zone; Shri Bhupinder Kumar, Senior Supdt of Police, EOU-III, CBI, New Delhi; Shri Ganesh Verma, Senior Supdt. of Police, ACB, CBI, New Delhi & Shri J.Nayak, AIG(P), Vigilance Cell, CBI, New Delhi. The Gold Medal for Best Prosecuting Officer for the Year 2008 was awarded to Shri R.N.Das, Senior Public Prosecutor, SCB, CBI, Kolkata; Gold Medal for Best Prosecuting Officer for the year 2009, was given to to Shri S.K.Kantiwal, Public Prosecutor, ACB, CBI, Chandigarh and Gold Medal for Best Investigating Officer for the year 2009 to Shri N.Surendran, Deputy Supdt. of Police, SCB, CBI, Chennai

The two-day Conference, aims at strengthening the anti-corruption mechanism in the country. The Heads of Anti- Corruption Bureaux / Vigilance agencies from the States and Union Territories, and, CBI officers will deliberate upon the emerging challenges and response in tackling the menace of corruption. Another area on which this conference will be focusing is Preventive Vigilance. Issues to be deliberated upon include: Combating Corruption for Economic Development, Attachment & Forfeiture of Property, Challenges in investigation of Dispropotionate Assets cases, Need for strengthening state anti-corruption machinery and Lokayukta models in certain states.