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Anti Corruption laws and its Impact in Society

India is a democratic nation with the longest written constitution that has several articles that ensures the welfare of the citizen and the state. The State and the citizens are bound by the duties, responsibilities and rights stated in the Constitution. Apart from these fundamental principles there are several enactments that are in effect in country for proper adjudication and implementation judicial powers. Civil and criminal Laws are the two major divisions that deal with the civil rights and protection from the criminal acts. Beyond the existence and implementation of different types of laws intended for the ultimate protection of citizens, one of the major anti social activity that violates rights of any person is the invisible practice of corruption by the responsible authorities or persons liable to ensure welfare of citizens. Bribery is a major threat that is spread in everywhere in the society, that engulfs the natural justice and rights of common man. In many Government authorities an employee from a lower level hierarchy, to the official holding the higher designation are not exempted from the practice of bribery. The ultimate result is the suffering of a common man to get his rightful objective to fulfilled, through subjecting himself to this practice in direct or indirect way.

The growth of this unlawful practice made the Governments to take appropriate steps for its prevention in order to have an incorruptible  society. Anti corruption laws were enacted for denouncing this practice, particularly in the Government authorities and officials though the major Criminal law of India, Indian Penal Code 1860, is empowered with ample provisions to prevent corruption by Government Officials or public servants.

Section 405 and 406 enumerates the parameter to take criminal procedures against a person who commits criminal breach of trust and its punishments; section 408 and 409 states the criminal breach of trust by public servant or clerk, merchant, banker or agent and its punishments. The interpretation of these sections have wide ambit to the corruptible methods adopted by any authoritative person who holds any influential post under Government. Beyond receiving bribe in form of cash or any other valuables, any unlawful method adopted to misinterpret any existing law, rule or procedure is also considered as grave corruption under criminal law.

Other major anti corruption laws are Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, Right to Information Act, 2005, Central Vigilance Commission Act and Lok Ayukta Act of States.

The Prevention of Corruption act with 31 sections deals with the matters that relates to corruption committed or applicable to public servants. Section 13 of this Act specifically deals with the criminal misconduct by public servant if he or she receives any gratification other than the legal remuneration. Imprisonment and fine are the punishments stated for any corruptible procedure done by public servants. Section 18 empowers to inspect Bankers book as per the provisions in the Banker’s Books Evidence Act of 1891.Section 20 again elaborately states the presumptions against public servants who are under allegation of accepted gratification other than the legal remuneration. Section 24 deals with the deposition of the Bribe giver against the public servant and his exemption from the prosecution procedures. The motive and the circumstances of bribe giving are given prime importance in the proceedings. This Act is not a derivative but at the same time an addition to any of the any existing anti corruption laws.

Prevention of money laundering act 2002, imposes punishment of imprisonment of three years that may extent to 7 years, fine or both for anyone who involved or committed the crime of money laundering.

Lok Ayukta Acts deals with the prevention of mal administration in the Government or public offices. Right to Information act enables the citizen to know the transparency of any proceedings from public offices and the Central vigilance Act is also to prevent corruption in Government Offices through proper inquiry and investigation.

By respecting these laws a society with incorruptible citizens can create an incorruptible Government and Incorruptible Nation.