On Wednesday 29th April 2015,the Union Cabinet approved amendments to Prevention Of Corruption Act 1988 bill, for classifying corruption as heinous crime and longer prison terms for both bribe giver and bribe taker. Speedy trial limited to 2 years for corruption cases would be made certain as per proposed amendment Act.
The proposed changes would fill the gaps in domestic anti-corruption law and also help in meeting countries obligations under United Nations Convention Against Corruption more effectively.
- Penal provisions been increased from 6 months to 3 years and from maximum 5 years to 7 years as per amendments to the 1988 Act.
- With the maximum term is now 7 years, corruption is now under heinous category.
- The amendment proposed to extend protective umbrella of prior sanction for prosecution of public servants who had retired or resigned from their jobs.
- The amendments are aimed at tackling corruption initially , but now provides rigorous punishments for the offences of bribery.
- Prior sanction for enquiry and investigation shall be required from Lokpal or Lokayukta.
- Intentional enriching by public servants will be deciphered as criminal misconduct and possession of disproportionate assets as proof of such illicit enrichment.
- Non-monetary gratification has also been covered within definition of word gratification.
Prevention Of Corruption Act 1988 was executed in 1988, and added the developments later to match international practise.The developments include India ratifying UNCAC, the international practise of treatment of offence of bribery and corruption. Delhi government had relaunched telephone helpline helping citizens to record call of bribe seekers . The 24hour helpline 1031 can be used to lodge complaints against corruptions.
ABOUT UNION CABINET
- UNION CABINET is small executive body and supreme decision making body of India.
- Prime minister and ministers of the rank of cabinet ministers are part of this cabinet.
- Cabinet Secretary, the most senior civil servant of India leads Cabinet Secretariat.