Social activist Anna Hazare’s fight against corruption has brought the Jan Lokpal Bill back in focus 43 years after it was first introduced in Parliament. Mint reviews the existing Indian experience.
Also See |Using Lokpal To Tackle Corruption (PDF)
Corruption Laws In India
Indian Penal Code, 1860
•Imprisonment, fine or confiscation of property, or all under section 169 for unlawful buying or bidding of property by a public servant.
•Criminal breach of trust by a public servant punishable with life imprisonment or imprisonment of up to 10 years and a fine, under section 409.
Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988
•Punishment between six months and five years for gratification in respect of an official Act or to influence other public servants.
Benami Transaction Prohibition Act, 1988
•Prohibits any ‘benami’ transaction and makes it punishable with imprisonment of up to three years and/or a fine. Gives authority the power to confiscate such property.
Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002
•Rigorous imprisonment for threeseven years and a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh.
Process followed to investigate and prosecute corrupt public servants
•The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the AntiCorruption Bureau (ACB) are three main authorities involved in the inquiry into, investigation and prosecution of corruption cases. Cases related to money laundering are handled by the Directorate of Enforcement and the Financial Intelligence Unit, under the ministry of finance.
•The CBI and the state ACBs investigate cases related to corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code. The CBI’s jurisdiction is the Union government and Union territories, while the ACBs investigate cases within their states.
•The CVC, which supervises corruption cases in government departments, can refer cases either to the Central Vigilance Officer in each department or to the CBI.
•Prosecution can be initiated by an investigating agency only after it has prior sanction of the Central or state government.
•All cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act are tried by special judges who are appointed by the Central or state government.
Other legislative means to curb corruption
Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2008
The Bill lapsed in 2009 and has not been reintroduced.
Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988
According to the Administrative Reforms Commission, 2007, rules to implement the Act were not framed. The Act remains ineffective.
Public Interest Disclosure Bill, 2010
Pending. The Bill is being examined by the standing committee on law.
Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010
Pending. The Bill being examined by the standing committee on law.
Graphics by V Venkatesulu/Mint; Photograph by Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times