Corruption Current Affairs

Rajya Sabha passes Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013

Rajya Sabha has passed Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 to amend various provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), 1988. The amendment to PCA, 1988 was necessitated to its review existing provisions to bring it in line with United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) as agreed by India.

Background

The amendments to PCA, 1988 were first brought by UPA government in 2013. The Bill was then referred to Parliamentary Standing Committee, Law Commission of India (LCI) and then in December 2015 to select committee. The report of select committee was submitted in 2016 and again it was moved in August 2017, but was not be taken up.

Key Features of Bill

Giving bribe made punishable offence: The Bill introduces offence of ‘giving a bribe’ as direct offence. Person who is compelled to give bribe who reports matter to law enforcement authorities within seven days will not be charged with this offence.

Redefines Criminal misconduct: The bill redefines provisions related to criminal misconduct to only cover two types of offences viz. illicit enrichment (such as amassing of assets disproportionate to one’s known income sources) and fraudulent misappropriation of property.

Prior approval for investigation: It makes mandatory for taking prior approval of relevant Government or competent authority to conduct any investigation into offence alleged to have been committed by a public servan. Such approval will be not necessary in cases that involve arrest of person on spot on charge of taking a bribe.

Trial Time limit: The bill set trail time period within two if it is handled by special judge. In case of delays, reasons for it must be recorded for every extension of six months obtained. However, total period for completion of trial may not exceed four years.

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December 9: International Anti-Corruption Day

The International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD) is observed annually across the world on December 9 to raise public awareness of corruption and what people can do to fight it. Observance of the day aims to promote and strengthen measures to prevent and combat corruption more efficiently and effectively. It also highlights the role of the United Nations Convention against Corruption in combating and preventing it. The theme for year 2017 is “United against corruption for development, peace and security”.

This year UNODC and UNDP have developed joint global campaign, focusing on how corruption affects education, health, justice, democracy, prosperity and development. The 2017 joint international campaign focuses on corruption as one of the biggest impediments to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Corruption

Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region or community is immune from corruption. According to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), every year $1 trillion is paid in bribes while an estimated $2.6 trillion are stolen annually through corruption – a sum equivalent to more than 5% of global GDP. In developing countries, funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times amount of official development assistance.

Background

The International Anti-Corruption Day was instituted by UN General Assembly (UNGA) by passing resolution 58/4 of October 31, 2003. It was adopted to raise people’s awareness of corruption and role of United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in combating and preventing it. The UNCAC is the first legally binding, international anti-corruption instrument that provides a chance to mount a global response to corruption.

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