The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill 2013: Features

The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill 2013: Features

Question: Corruption is the single biggest challenge to good governance. Discuss the features of the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill 2013 in this context.

• The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 was will be amended through the passage of the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill 2013

• Union Cabinet has already given approval for this amendment bill

• Proposed amendment will:

- Bridge gaps in domestic anti-corruption law
- Meet the obligations of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption

• The Bill provides more stringent punishment for bribery offences both for those offering and taking bribes

• Penal provisions have been enhanced from a lower limit of 6 months to as high as 3 years; the maximum term is now from 5 to 7 years.

• Corruption has now been categorised under the heinous crime category

• Instead of the District Court, the powers of attachment have to be conferred on the trial court to attain benefits from profits of corruption

• The ambit of provision for inducement of public servants from persons to commercial groups is being added to the supply side of corruption

• Guidelines have been given for commercial organisations to prevent their employees/associates from giving bribes to public servants

• Average trial period of cases in the act has been above 8 years. It is now aimed to ensure speedy trial through trial completion within 2 years

• Intentional enrichment by public servants should be seen as criminal misconduct and possession of disproportionate assets as proof of such enrichment

• Gratification of the non monetary kind has also been included in the law

• Obligations of a public servant have been delineated such that it deters him/her from violating rules and duties

• Extending protection of prior sanction for prosecution to public servants who cease to hold office has also been added

• Prior sanction for enquiry should be from Lokpal/Lokayukta for investigation of offences pertaining to recommendations made/decisions taken by public servant in meeting official functions and duties

Facts and Stats

• Prevention of Corruption Act was enacted in the year 1988

• India ratified the UNCAC to conform with international practice on treatment of offences pertaining to bribery and corruption.

• Views of the Law Commission were sought for the amendment to this Act
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