NEW DELHI: Newly appointed Central Vigilance Commissioner, Mr Pradeep Kumar on Thursday asserted that there will be no compromise in fighting corruption and warned people to refrain from “witch-hunt” to settle personal scores.
Terming corruption as a disease which is affecting people and nation, Mr Kumar said “Corruption is not a monopoly either of higher echelon or lower echelon. Wherever corruption is there, it has to be dealt strictly and persistently.
“The only caveat I put it in our pursuit to punish corrupt is that we do not want to create an environment where settling of personal scores takes place, where witch-hunt takes place. We want to create an environment where honest people are able to work fearlessly,” he told PTI.
Sixty-two-year-old Mr Kumar, former defence secretary, who took over as CVC on Thursday, declined to comment on his predecessor Mr P J Thomas, whose appointment was quashed by the Supreme Court citing pending charge-sheet in a corruption case against him in Kerala.
Mr Thomas wanted that his appeal pending with the President, Ms Pratibha Patil be decided first before Mr Kumar could assume charge but his plea for urgent hearing in this regard was refused on Thursday by the Delhi High Court.
Mr Kumar’s appointment was cleared by a high-level panel comprising the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, the Home Minister, Mr P Chidambaram and the leader of opposition in Lok Sabha, Ms Sushma Swaraj on July 2.
A 1972 batch Haryana cadre IAS officer, Mr Kumar was administered oath of office by the President.
“Corruption is a kind of disease which is affecting people and the country. We cannot and will not compromise in the fight against corruption. We will try to develop a system where corrupt have no place to hide,” the CVC said.
Mr Kumar, who will have a tenure of a little over three years, said “corrupt persons will be punished swiftly and definitely.”
He had an interaction with Commission’s officers who briefed him about the functioning of the anti-corruption watchdog.
“People have a lot of expectations from CVC. We hope that we will be able to live up to that with the cooperation of all. There has to be transparency in the system,” Mr Kumar said.
The CVC advocated leveraging technology and to reduce human interference to promote probity in dealings of public departments.
The swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan was attended by the Vice-President, Mr Hamid Ansari, the Prime Minister, the Cabinet Secretary, Mr Ajit Seth, the Chief Election Commissioner, Mr S Y Quraishi and Ms Swaraj among others.
“The nation has lot of expectations and we will try to discharge our responsibilities to the best of our abilities,” the CVC added.