"It seems that the consequences of corruption are well known, perhaps not well realized," said Sathasivam who also advocated independence of institutions to facilitate good governance and transparency to overcome it.

Speaking at CVC's golden jubilee function, the Chief Justice noted that people had either given up the hope to make this country corruption-free or had come to terms with it and accepted it "as a facet of life".

"Both these attitudes are hazardous for working of democracy," he said in his valedictory address which was attended by Minister of State for Prime Minister's Office V Narayanasamy.

Six decades of independence in our country have witnessed a "steep rise" in the magnitude and complexity of corruption in public life, he said, adding that values in public life and perspective of those values have undergone tremendous change, the CJI said.

He strongly supported independence of institutions to facilitate good governance and transparency in the country.

"Corruption is the biggest threat to democracy. In a healthy democracy, institutions must be independent and strong that help facilitate good governance, accountability and transparency," Sathasivam said.

His comments came a day after BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said that institutions like CAG and CVC should be strengthened in a healthy democracy.

The CJI cited various anti-graft legislations but rued the spread of corruption. "Despite the timely amendments and strict interpretation rendered by courts to the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, corruption tends to breed like cancer in our society.”

"One of the primary factors is the delay caused in disposal of corruption cases. Delay in trial allows the guilty to get away as they are not awarded the punishment, which they deserve whereas it amounts to double jeopardy for the innocent officers who suffer frivolous and malicious cases," the Chief Justice said.


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