Report 258 on Prevention of Bribery Officials: Implications

Report 258 on Prevention of Bribery Officials: Implications

Question: For the first time in Indian law, a Law Commission report has proposed amendments to pass laws regarding bribery of foreign officials. Discuss the implications of Report 258 in this context and what it can do to fight corruption.

- Law Commission recently submitted report 258 on the prevention of bribery of foreign public officials and officials of public international organisations

- Report also proposed amendments to a Bill passed for this in 2015

- India is one of 176 countries which are signatory to UNCAC

- There was earlier no domestic law to address this kind of bribery

- Bill on Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of International Public organisations was also proposed

- This is in addition to Prevention of Corruption Act and PMLA 2002

- Law Commission undertook study of bribery laws in UNCAC nations and India’s obligations to the same

- It indicated Bill must only be applicable to bribery that occurs in whole or part in India/Indian aircraft/ship and abroad to persons who are citizens/permanent residents of India or bodies incorporated in India

- Offences of abetment of and attempt to commit bribery(either passive or active) as ingredients for these offences are different and carry different types of penalties

- Law Commission also recommended that law must provide specific provisions that detail defences and exceptions made against offences under this law

- This includes exceptions for payments made in course of routine duties or foreign official functions

- Commission also prescribed that commercial organisations which commit bribery must pay a fine; this is also true if an officer of the commercial organisation commits the bribe

Facts and Stats

2015 Bill has three parts:

i. One deals with offences

ii. The other details processes for investigation and prosecution of offences

iii. Inter-relation of the Bill with other legal and miscellaneous matters

- A few countries have criminalised offence of passive bribery such as Malaysia and Switzerland
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