The Telegraph
Friday , December 31 , 2010
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CM vows to fight corruption

Ranchi, Dec. 30: Corruption -free governance will be the New Year mantra for chief minister Arjun Munda.

Counting five of his New Year resolutions, Munda today told The Telegraph that he had several plans up his sleeves for 2011 to ensure his pledges were fulfilled.

Besides adding teeth to the state vigilance bureau and the lokayukta, Munda would also request the Jharkhand High Court chief justice to open special courts and run them in shifts.

Munda said he would also ask the high court to start morning and evening courts in the state to reduce judicial arrears. “The state is ready to provide funds for these courts,” he said.

As many as 2.75 lakh cases are pending in the subordinate courts, while the judicial arrears in Jharkhand High Court are pegged at around 60,000. The 13th Finance Commission has also allocated funds for running the morning, evening courts.

Few states, including Maharashtra and Gujarat, are already running such courts in shift. Bihar has also set up one evening court each in all its districts. The lawyers, significantly, are opposing the move.

He would also request the chief justice to begin gramin nayayalayas (rural courts) in Jharkhand, Munda added.

As many as 139 gramin nayayalayas have been sanctioned for the state under the 13th Finance Commission. Six rural courts had been sanctioned to be run on a pilot basis last year in East Singhbhum, Ranchi, Deoghar, Dumka, Daltonganj and Hazaribagh. However, they are yet to become functional.

Rural courts are supposed to remain stationed at the block headquarters and move to villages to hold courts and try petty cases. Munda pointed out that he would go for time-bound investigation for cases filed by the vigilance bureau.

“Because, the delay in disposal of the files breeds corruption. Babus often delay files in anticipation of pecuniary benefits,” he maintained.

Munda termed decentralization of power as another pledge for the New Year.

“As the panchayat elections have been completed, we have to ensure power is transferred smoothly to the newly-elected mukhiyas,” he said, adding, “But in doing so, we have to assess the elected representatives’ capacity to handle the new-found power.”

Women empowerment is next on Munda’s agenda for 2011. “We have to organise women through self-help groups and tailor a livelihood programme for their families.”

Munda said mobilisation of youth, to wean them away from the path of Maoism, was another pledge.

He also promised to develop infrastructure, mainly roads and power stations, in a big way in 2011.

“We have to take effective steps to enhance the water level in ponds and reservoirs so that the people do not face the crisis of drinking water,” he added.

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