May 14, 2014

Vulnerabilities Of Institutional Checks In The Indian Federalism: The Case Of The Adarsh Society Scam In Mumbai, India

By Vaidehi Tandel, Sahil Gandhi, Sirus Joseph Libeiro, Chaitanya Marpakwar

In developing countries, separation of powers coexists with corruption by the ruling elite. This can be attributed to informal institutions, which counter the formal checks and balances. We demonstrate, by studying the Adarsh scam, the vulnerabilities of checks and balances. Fourteen actors belonging to different tiers of the Indian federal setup who could have vetoed the project or certain permissions failed to do so.We find that 54 percent of the checks collapsed because of quid pro quo, 21 percent due to being overridden, 4 percent due to misrepresentation, 7 percent due to absorption, and 14 percent due to omissions in the process.

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