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Government approves enhanced punishment for bribery

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New Delhi, April 29:

The government on Wednesday approved enhancing the minimum punishment for taking or giving bribes from six months to three years and the maximum punishment from five years to seven years.

pic: galleryhip.com
pic: galleryhip.com

At a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the cabinet gave its approval to amend the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 by pursuing the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013, pending before the Rajya Sabha.

The proposed amendments would fill in perceived gaps in the domestic anti-corruption law and also help in meeting the country’s obligations under the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) more effectively, an official release said here.

The proposed amendments are mainly aimed at laying down more stringent measures to tackle corruption including enhancing the punishment for bribery, both for the bribe giver and the bribe taker.

The amendments enhance penal provisions from minimum six months to three years and from maximum five years to seven years (The seven-year imprisonment brings corruption to the heinous crime category).

To check the pecuniary gains from corruption, the powers of attachment are proposed to be conferred upon the trial court instead of the district court.

Expanding the ambit of the provision for containing inducement of public servant from individuals to commercial entities is being added to contain supply side of corruption, the release said.

Intentional enrichment by public servants will be construed as criminal misconduct and possession of disproportionate assets as proof of such illegitimate gains. (IANS)