PREVENTION OF CORRUPTION ACT
- April 25, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN Topics
PREVENTION OF CORRUPTION ACT
Context: CBI registers FIR against former Maha home minister Anil Deshmukh under Prevention of Corruption Act.
- The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to combat corruption in government agencies and public sector businesses in India.
- The Central and the State Government is empowered to appoint Special Judges to try the following offences:
Any offence punishable under this Act.
Any conspiracy to commit or any attempt to commit or any abetment of any of the offences specified under the Act.
- A Special Judge, while trying any offence punishable under the Act, shall exercise all powers and functions exercised by a District Judge under the Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance,1944
The following are the offences under the PCA along with their punishments:-
- Taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act, and if the public servant is found guilty shall be punishable with imprisonment which shall be not less than 6 months extendable up to 5 years and shall also be liable to fine.
- Taking gratification in order to influence public servant, by corrupt or illegal means, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall be not less than three years extendable up to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.
- Taking gratification, for exercise of personal influence with public servant shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall be not less than six months extendable up to five years and shall also be liable to fine.
- Any public servant, who commits criminal misconduct shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall be not less than one year extendable up to 7 years and shall also be liable to fine
Investigation shall be done by a police officer not below the rank of:
- In case of Delhi, of an Inspector of Police.
- In metropolitan areas, of an Assistant Commissioner of Police.
- Elsewhere, of a Deputy Superintendent of Police or an officer of equivalent rank shall investigate any offence punishable under this Act without the order of a Metropolitan Magistrate or a magistrate of first class, or make any arrest therefore without a warrant.
2018 amendments to the act:
- Giving bribe is a specific and a direct offence.
- Those convicted of taking bribes can be imprisoned for three to seven years besides being fined.
- It makes a provision for providing protection to ‘coerced’ (forced to pay a bribe) bribe-givers if the matter is reported to the concerned law enforcement agencies within a week.
- It redefines criminal misconduct and will now only cover misappropriation of property and possession of disproportionate assets.
- It proposes a ‘shield’ for government servants, including those retired, from prosecution by making it mandatory for investigating agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation to take prior approval from a competent authority before conducting an enquiry against them.
- However, it states that such permissions shall not be necessary for cases involving the arrest of a person on the spot on the charge of accepting or attempting to accept any undue advantage for himself or for any other person.
- In any corruption case against a public servant, the factor of “undue advantage” will have to be established.
- The trial in cases pertaining to the exchange of bribes and corruption should be completed within two years. Further, even after reasoned delays, the trial cannot exceed four years.
- It covers bribe-giving commercial organisations to be liable for punishment or prosecution. However, charitable institutions have been left out of its ambit.
- It provides powers and procedures for the attachment and forfeiture of a corruption-accused public servant’s property.