NEW DELHI: Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who filed multiple petitions for legal reforms, on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that he has left a well-settled job as engineer at Maruti Suzuki for the purpose.
'I left the job, completed my law to do this only. People now strongly believe reforms can be undertaken on 'Sadak' 'Sansad' and Supreme Court," Upadhyay submitted before a bench led by Chief Justice U U Lalit.
Upadhyay was arguing in person for his PIL seeking a direction to the Centre and States to constitute expert committees to examine good practices of the countries, ranked among top 20 in Corruption Perception Index.
His plea said, accordingly, the governments should be directed to take apposite steps to weed-out bribery, black money generation, benami transaction, tax evasion, money laundering profiteering, hoarding, adulteration, human-drug trafficking, black marketing, cheating, mischief, forgery, dishonest misappropriation of property, criminal breach of trust, dishonestly inducing delivery of property, cheating by personation, concealment of property, falsification of accounts and frauds including corporate fraud, capital market fraud, forensic fraud and accounting fraud.
Alternatively, he suggested the Supreme Court, being protector of fundamental rights and custodian of the Constitution, may direct the Law Commission to suggest steps to weed-out bribery, black money generation, benami transaction, tax evasion, money laundering, human-drug trafficking, profiteering, hoarding, adulteration, cheating & improve India's CPI ranking.
The bench, which also comprised Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi, however, said under Article 32 of the Constitution, the court would not be able to issue such directions.
The court also said the authorities concerned should consider if a representation is made by Upadhyay in this regard.
“Considering the scope of Article 32 petition, we find it extremely difficult to entertain this. It is thus dismissed," the bench said.
During the hearing, the bench said, “Let's start with this, how do we weed out corruption? We ask Law Commission to look into the matter and then what? We have specialised laws already.”
The plea pointed out that India has been ranked at the 80th position among 180 countries and territories in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) prepared by Transparency International. It is based on perceived levels of public sector corruption in these countries, according to experts and business people.
The plea said the ranking undermines democracy and rule of law, leads to violations of human rights, distorts markets, erodes the quality of life and allows organised crime like separatism, terrorism, naxalism, radicalism, gambling, smuggling, kidnapping, money laundering and extortion and other threats to human security to flourish, the plea said.
The petitioner claimed corruption hurts the poor disproportionately as diverting funds intended for development, undermines the government's ability to provide basic services, seeds inequality and injustice and discourages foreign aids and investment.