ISSUE OF DECLINING PUBLIC CONFIDENCE ON ANTI-CORRUPTION AGENCIES IN INDIA: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS

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CONTENT

INTRODUCTION

Corruption in India is a drawback that has extreme implications for every ensuring the guideline of thumb of regulation and making sure get entry to justice. Corruption is pervasive in the gadget of governance in India, undermining the effectiveness of all institutions of governance. Since independence, consecutive governments have attempted to take numerous measures to cut back the quantity of corruption in the country, collectively with legislative and institutional measures. However, absence of the political will and sincerity in taking concrete steps to cast off corruption has ended in maximum of these measures now no longer reaching the effects that had been intended. Corruption in India is not without a doubt a regulation enforcement trouble anyplace the prevailing legal guidelines of the country are desecrated and may be remedied without a doubt with the aid of using extra rigorous enforcement. Rather, corruption in India can be a miles greater essential hassle that undermines the extraordinarily social fabric, and political and authorities’ officials’ shape of the Indian society. Thus, even as it is important for the regulation enforcement equipment to be sceptered, the bigger trouble concerning corruption in India is the way it violates the human rights — and, specifically the constitutional rights — bonded beneath the Constitution of India. Further, corruption in India violates the constitutional foundations of Indian democracy, at the concept of that a rule of regulation society in India changed into intended to be established. However, the guarantees created with the aid of using the writers of the Indian Constitution are damaged through the years with the aid of using a deadly disease of corruption in every establishment, that has caused a blot in the governance gadget from top to backside. the winning anti-corruption framework in India locations some distance an excessive amount of pressure at the crook justice gadget for dealing with corruption — a gadget that during itself is dealing with a disaster due to corruption and opportunity troubles. Thus, preventing corruption is moreover vital for restoring the people’s religion in the Indian crook justice gadget.

Lack of religion amongst citizenry in Government’s Anti-Corruption Initiatives

Even alevin though there may be huge corruption in India and parents renowned the unwell outcomes of it, there may be lesser religion in the capacity of the govt. and the various gift institutions to combat corruption. This loss of religion and self-belief in the authorities’ capacity to combat corruption in an independent and independent way has undermined its credibleness. Investigations regarding corruption have, with the aid of using and enormous, suffered way to political intervention or opportunity varieties of biases which have an impact at the integrity of the crook justice method. The gadget is moreover marred with tremendous troubles of postpone and unpredictability, which have conjointly affected anti-corruption efforts. even as police and enforcement organizations are at the leading edge of anti-corruption efforts, their function and features have to be subjected to extreme scrutiny, given the records of abuse of power, corruption and opportunity troubles that police as a group face in India. This has resulted all through a state of affairs anyplace the prevailing police gadget is not all through a role to effectively carry out anticorruption investigations and prosecutions. that is regularly the case in spite of relevance certainly considered one among India’s maximum investigative bodies, the CBI.

Citizen companies and civil society projects are in recent times carving out an area for themselves in the combat in opposition to corruption and misuse of authority. Among the numerous public establishments, the police are rated as having rock backside credibility with the aid of using the overall public. The politicization of the police pressure can be a depend of sizeable difficulty commonly main to the high-handedness, corruption, and arbitrary behavior on part of the police pressure. The effectiveness of anti-corruption projects is predicated upon a lively and lively civil society. besides for the civil society to play a dynamic function in the authorities’ efforts to combat corruption, it has to have the confidence that the authorities and its anti-corruption establishments do not appear to be completely extreme regarding preventing corruption, but even have a nicely devised installation and approach to combat corruption.

ANTI – CORRUPTION LAWS IN INDIA

1. Prevention of Corruption Act 1988

It is the fundamental anti-corruption law. Its forbid offences committed by public servants in respect to the acceptance or attempted acceptance of any type of outlaw gratification. The act of bribe giving is an offence under the prevention of Corruption Act and industrial organisations can be held liable for the same if any individual related to them offers or guarantees to grant any undue advantage to a public servant with the aim of receiving or holding business or a bonus within the conduct of business. Industrial organisations can claim defence if they can prove that they’d requisite procedures in place to prevent such acts by any individual linked with them. Such procedures should go with the rules that are prescribed by the government.

2. The penal code 1860

This penal law of India sets out provisions that are interpreted to hide bribery and fraud matters, as well as those committed within the non-public sector. Its provisions incorporate offences concerning cheating and deceitfully persuading delivery of property and criminal breach of trust.

3. The companies Act 2013

This act consists of certain provisions to prevent corruption and fraud within the corporate sector, including:

a. the duty of statutory auditors to bring to light any instances of fraud committed by company employees;

b. accumulated penalties for fraud offences;

c. to be vested with accumulated powers (e.g., power to arrest) with the SFIO;

d. the provisions for the establishment of surveillance mechanisms and audit committees; and

e. the increased responsibilities of independent directors.

4. The Whistle blowers Protection Act 2011

 This Act is primarily supposed to safeguard whistle-blowers with regard to disclosure of acts of corruption, wilful misuse of power, wilful misuse of discretion or the commission of attempted criminal offence by a public servant. while the Whistle blowers Protection Act has yet to come back into force, the government has cleared up that it intends to amend the act more before divulging it into effect.

5. The Lok pal and Lokayuktas Act 2013

It establishes the offices of the nodal ombudsman for the central and state governments and accords relevant powers to those bodies to elicit and investigate cases of corruption within the public sector in India.

6. The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010

This act regulates the acceptance and use of foreign contributions and hospitality by corporate entities and people. Receipt of foreign contributions required prior registration with or approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs. Without such registration or approval, receipt of foreign contributions may be considered unlawful and punishable.

7. The prevention of money laundering Act 2002

The aim of this Act is to prevent instances of money laundering and overturn the use of the proceeds of crime in India. It prescribes strict penalties for violating its provisions, like, imprisonment of up to ten years and the attachment or seizure of tainted property.

The extent of application of the anti-corruption law is restricted to the general public and government sectors. It doesn’t cover extra-jurisdictional activity. However, the Institute of Company Secretaries of India composed the corporate Anti-bribery Code in 2017, that outlines a systematic mechanism that could be voluntarily adopted by corporations to prevent bribery in each public and private sectors. The code in concert prohibits bribery of foreign public officials to get or retain business or receive an improper advantage in business.

Corruption and bribery Offences

The below-mentioned actions are considered as key corruption and bribery offences under Indian law:

 a public servant taking unlawful gratification as a gift or motive for undertaking an official’s  act, or for showing any favour or disfavour to any individual within the exercise of his or her official functions, or for using any service or disservice to any person;

 an individual taking illegal gratification to influence a public servant for the abovementioned actions;

 an individual taking illegal gratification to implement personal influence on a public servant, to induce such public servant for the abovementioned actions;

 a public servant getting a valuable thing inconsiderately from an individual in connection with business dealings with such person;

 a public servant deceitfully or fraudulently misappropriating or converting for private use any property entrusted to him or her or under his or her management, or any public servant permitting another person to do as such;

 a public servant getting a valuable thing or financial advantage for himself or herself or any other person by corruption, abuse of his or her position of authority or any other illegal means;

 a public servant holding property or resources disproportionate to his or her notable sources of income;

 an individual giving or promising to grant another person an undue advantage with the intention of  or to induce a public servant to perform a public duty improperly;

 any person related to a commercial organisation that offers or guarantees to grant an undue advantage to an employee.

Actions like the acceptance of foreign contributions without prior government approval or registration, money laundering, concealment of foreign financial gain and assets, dealing with benami property and committing fraudulent acts against a company are punishable. Where an individual has been compelled to grant a bribe, this act could also be considered to not breach the law if the matter is reported to the enforcement authority or investigative agency within seven days.

ANTI-CORRUPTION AGENCIES IN INDIA

Central Vigilance Commission

CVC is an apex Indian governmental frame created in 1964 to cope with governmental corruption. In 2003, the Parliament sanctioned a regulation conferring statutory fame at the CVC. It has the fame of a sovereign frame. It is freed from manage from any government authority, charged with tracking all of the pastime beneath Neath the Central Government of India, advising several governments in crucial Government agencies in arising with, accomplishing, reviewing and rectifying their vigilance paintings.

It changed into installed on 11 eleven 1964 at the guidelines of the Committee on prevention of Corruption, with the aid of using authorities of India resolution , headed with the aid of using Shri K. Santhanam Committee, to advocate and manual Central Government businesses in the discipline of watchfulness. Nittoor Srinivasa Rau, changed into decided on because the 1st Chief Vigilance Commissioner of India.

The Annual Report of the CVC comes up with the information of the paintings accomplished with the aid of using it. The record additionally brings out the device disasters that along with corruption in numerous Departments, device magnifications, diverse preventive measures and instances throughout which the commissions advises have been forsaken, etc.

The Commission shall consist of:

• A Central Vigilance Commissioner is taken into consideration because the Chairperson;

• There may be most of two Vigilance Commissioners or Members.

Department of Public Enterprises (DPE)

The Department of Public Enterprises is the nodal branch for all of the Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs). It formulates guidelines regarding CPSEs. It asserts coverage tips on overall performance development and evaluation, autonomy and financial contingency and employees’ control in CPSEs. It furthermore collects and keeps facts of a Public Enterprises Survey on many regions in admire of CPSEs.

As according to the Allocation of Business Rules of the authorities, the subsequent topics are allocated to the DPE: persisting paintings regarding former Bureau of Public Enterprises collectively with business control Pool, Coordination of subjects of well-known coverage affecting all Public Sector Enterprises, evaluation and gazing the overall performance of Public Sector Enterprises, collectively with the memorandum of Understanding mechanism, Review of capital tasks and expenditure in Central Public Sector Enterprises, etc.  Department of Public Enterprises is headed with the aid of using Secretary to the authorities of India who’s assisted with the aid of using an organization with an ordinary sanctioned electricity of 122 officials/employees.

Enforcement directorate

The directorate of enforcement (ED) refers back to the specialised regulation enforcement and monetary intelligence agency. It is liable for imposing monetary legal guidelines and preventing monetary crime in India. It is part of the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government Of India. it is composed of officials from the Indian Revenue Service, Indian company Law Service, Indian Police Service and additionally the Indian administrative Service in addition to promoted officials from its very own cadre. Assistant enforcement Officer are recruited for ED cadre, those officials are the only department people that serves the ED. ‘Enforcement Unit’ changed into shaped in Department of Economic Affairs, It handles Exchange manage Laws violations beneathneath forex Regulation Act, 1947. For the ED leader withinside the rank of secretary to authorities of India, the previous Chief Commissioner of earnings tax Sanjay Kumar Mishra changed into appointed.

The foremost goal of the enforcement directorate is the enforcement of two key Acts of the authorities of India :the forex Management Act 1999 (FEMA) and the prevention of cash laundering Act 2002 (PMLA)

Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India

The CAG is sworn in beneathneath Article 148(3) to maintain the integrity of the state. To maintain his independence, the CAG’s prices are charged to the Consolidated Fund of India. it’s miles the obligation of the CAG to audit all receipts which are due into the Consolidated Fund of India. the policies and strategies are designed to ensure a powerful test at the assessment, series and right allocation of revenue. His obligation is to uphold the Constitution of India and legal guidelines of Parliament in the discipline of economic administration. Within the sector of economic administration, the responsibleness of the government to the Parliament is secured via audit reviews of the CAG. Being the agent of the Parliament, it conducts an audit of expenditure on behalf of the Parliament. Therefore, he is responsible entirely to the Parliament. The CAG has to ensure whether or not or now no longer cash proven with inside the bills that has been spend changed into lawfully to be had for and relevant to the carrier or the intention to which they were carried out or charged and whether or not or now no longer the expenditure conforms to the authority that governs it. 

Public Accounts Committee (PAC)

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is a committee of elected participants of Parliament. It changed into installed with the aid of using the Parliament of India, for the auditing of the expenditure of India. the overall public Accounts Committee is created each year. It has the electricity of much less than twenty  participants of which fifteen are from Lok Sabha, the decrease residence of the Parliament and 7 from Rajya Sabha.

Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB)

These police businesses of the States are intended typically for investigating corruption instances within the States beneath Neath the Corruption Act. they may be liable for the prevention, detection, and research of corruption crime most effective and aren’t engaged in carrying out distinctive police responsibilities like managing traditional crimes and regulation and order.

DEFECTS IN ANTI-CORRUPTION SYSTEM

A. No Law to address Corruption withinside the personal Sector

The prevention of Corruption Act 1988 is the present regulation in India which addresses offences concerning corruption. This regulation changed into generally constituted to attend to corruption instances in the public area and through public servants. There’s significant corruption in the personal area which that significantly obstructs the increase and improvement of the country. After the liberalization of the Indian economy, with inside the early 1990s, the personal area has elevated greatly. The count number of corruptions is growing with the increase of the personal area. Nowadays it has assumed horrible proportions. It has turn out to be the largest chance to Indian society. Efforts are intending to enact legal guidelines to address corruption in the personal area as deliberate with inside the UNCAC.

B. Intrinsic Delays in the Criminal Justice System

The gadget is extraordinarily gradual and punishments do not appear prompt. As defined earlier, sec. 19 of the Corruption Act needs previous permission of the authority with an expertise to remove a public servant from his or her publish earlier than launching prosecution towards her or him in courtroom docket. This effects in delaying the release of a prosecution. After receiving reviews from the research businesses in search of acclaim for a prosecution, the worried government take significant time to provide permission. Also, permission may be every so often denied because of political and distinctive grounds. The Corruption Act gives for trial of corruption instances below the act completely through the Special Judges. The quantity of Special Judges is sparse in distinction with the quantity of corruption instances filed of their courts. As a result, those courts are dejected. There’s a large war of words in the sort of instances disposed through the investigating businesses and the variety of instances disposed through the courts, including to the backlog annually. Throughout trial of offences, postponements are normally taken with no consideration on various grounds. Further, the complaints in the trial courtroom docket are challenged at numerous degrees through events submitting petitions in the identical courtroom docket in addition to in better courts. Appeals and revisions filed in better courts towards the order of the trial courtroom docket normally take years to be terminated.

C. Hostile Witnesses

In order to convict a corrupt public servant, the prosecution desires to show its case unquestionably. This is mostly a strict prison call for as according to the Indian proof Act. There’s no exception to the existing call for even for corruption instances. Prosecution must depend closely at the announcement of witnesses to show its case past doubt. However, witnesses normally do not guide the prosecution case relevant to influence, allurement and intimidation from the alternative facet. There’s no witness safety scheme, nor are there provisions for instant and powerful motion towards witnesses who turn out to be hostile. As a result, witnesses regularly turn out to be unco-operative and damage the prosecution case. Punishments aren’t speedy and powerful below the Corruption Act and don’t deter corrupt public servants.

D. Ineffective asset Recovery

Though there are prison provisions for requisition and recuperation of belongings obtained as proceeds of crime, such recuperation is not simple. Corrupt public servants normally gather houses with the go back of crime in the names in their friends, relatives, contributors of the own circle of relatives and distinctive acquaintances. Therefore, it is difficult to show in courtroom docket that such houses are the proceeds of crime. Such houses are very regularly held offshore below strict privateness legal guidelines and it is hard to hint and get better them, specifically withinside the absence of favored global co-operation.

CORRUPTION SCANDALS

Wakf Board land scam

It is understood to be the maximum critical land rip-off with inside the u . s . until date. This land rip-off entails really well worth Rs 2,000 billion of alleged misappropriation of land allocation. A file submitted via way of means of The Karnataka State Minorities Commission claimed that 27,000 acres of land had both been embezzled or allocated illegally managed via way of means of the Karnataka Wakf Board Through the Muslim trust, the aforesaid assets became guessed to accept by the disadvantaged and poor. Chairman of the Karnataka State Minorities Commission, Anwar Manippady stated that over 50 % of the land has been embezzled via way of means of politicians and board contributors. This became supposedly finished beneath neath the watch of the Karnataka Wakf Board, in collaboration with the actual property mafia for part of its marketplace price. The investigation is currently in progress.

 Telgi rip-off

This rip-off seems to be directly out of a Hollywood flick. In 2002, Abdul Karim Telgi became charged for forging stamp paper in India. He appointed 350 faux sellers to promote stamp papers to banks, coverage companies, and inventory brokerage corporations. The rip-off spread throughout twelve States. The quantity worried became pegged at Rs two hundred billion. The research found out that several authorities departments, worried withinside the manufacturing and sale of high-protection stamps, supported Telgi. In January 2006, Telgi and some of the different friends had been condemned to thirty years of rigorous imprisonment.

The ‘Coalgate’ Con

 Press Trust of India September 2012 unearthed a con that worried bureaucrats, political leaders and some of the different ministers from the ruling political party. The controller and Auditor General, India’s audit supervisor, reportable inefficient and possibly illegal allocation of coal blocks between 2004 and 2009. Whereas, to begin with, the loss to the budget became pegged at Rs 10.7 lakh crore, the remaining file direct that the con amounted to Rs 1.86 lakh crore. Essentially, the authorities of India allocate coal blocks via way of means of following a device of aggressive bidding. However, CAG’s research disclosed that the authorities accompanied every other course that became “opaque and subjective”. As a result, CAG mentioned that each of the private and public zone companies paid less, main to lose sales for the authorities.

2G Spectrum Swindle

This swindle surfaced whilst it became disclosed that the govt, in 2008, had undercharged cellular cell phone companies for frequency allocation licenses. These licenses are used to supply 2G spectrum subscriptions for molecular phones. The controller and Auditor General of India declared that “the difference among the cash accumulated which mandated to be accumulated became Rs 1. seventy-six trillion”. In February 2012, the allotment of the spectrum is said as “unconstitutional and arbitrary” via way of means of the Supreme Court of India. It cancelled the 122 licenses issued in 2008 beneath A. Raja, then Minister of Communications and IT.

 Commonwealth Games Fiddle

The Commonwealth Games fiddle in 2010 concerned a misappropriation of around Rs 70,000 crore. Since its beginning, the games had been blended up in a maze of corrupt deals. This covered inflated contracts, crook conspiracy, cheating, and forgery. And in the middle of the corruption was Suresh Kalmadi, the then Pune Lok Sabha MP. Investigation found out that the organizing committee ran through the name of “badmaash company,”. Kalmadi was charged beneath the prevention of the Corruption Act. Kalmadi reportedly presented a Rs 141-crore settlement to Swiss timing for its timing equipment. The deal outsized via way of means of Rs ninety-five crore. Further, it was stated that Indian athletes had been pressured to stay in shabby houses as opposed to the apartments assigned to them by the authorities. Satyam Hustle It is assessed as ‘India’s Enron scandal’. The 2009 company hustle had shaken the Indian traders and shareholders community. Ramalinga Raju, the Chairman of Satyam Computer Services, confessed that he had forged the company’s accounts, overstating the sales and profit. The fraud concerned Rs 14,000 crore. The CBI investigated the case. Raju, together with 10 different contributors confronted incarceration. Later, Tech Mahindra took over the company.

CONCLUSION

There are good enough legal guidelines in India to combat corruption with inside the public sector. The Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 is an unsectarian regulation which covers all viable acts involving corruption and corrupt practices with the aid of using public servants. There are legal guidelines referring to tracking, seizing, and confiscating proceeds of such crimes, each outside and inside the United States of America. India has signed mutual criminal help and extradition treaties with 20 and 25 international locations respectively to facilitate worldwide co-operation with inside the combat towards corruption. Ratification of the UN Convention towards Corruption with the aid of using India will in addition give a boost to its clear up to combat towards corruption with the aid of using supplying and acquiring worldwide co-operation.

Despite most of these measures and legal guidelines, the United States of America remains now no longer loose from the scourge of corruption. Corruption remains one in all the largest impediments to extending the blessings of improvement and development to the poorest of the poor. The Indian crook justice machine is going through many issues and demanding situations in its combat towards corruption. At present, there’s no regulation to cope with corruption with inside the personal sector, which has grown in leaps and boundaries in closing decades, as envisaged with inside the UNCAC. Offenders take benefit of the very strict necessities of Indian courts to show each factor past doubt. The machine suffers from inherent delays; as a result, punishment isn’t always swift. Corruption is taken into consideration a ‘excessive profit-low risk’ hobby with the aid of using corrupt public servants. Recoveries of belongings, which might be proceeds of crime, continue to be a large challenge. Such belongings are regularly held offshore and getting them again is a Herculean task, mainly with inside the absence of favored worldwide co-operation.

The combat towards corruption is, consequently, now no longer a clean one. There is a want that we be a part of forces towards this enemy, with all sources present at our disposal to obtain higher and greater powerful consequences. The United Nations Convention towards Corruption may be visible as a watershed with inside the clear up of the worldwide network to combat corruption. The provisions referring to asset recuperation with inside the UNCAC are the maximum important, in my opinion. Effective use of the equal with the aid of using signatory international locations will, consequently, pass a protracted manner to reaching higher consequences on this regard. International co-operation to combat corruption as envisaged with inside the UNCAC is consequently inescapable and a demand of the hour.

REFERENCE

[1] The Introduction is reprinted from a previous work with minor revisions for consistency, C. Raj Kumar, Promoting Transparency and Good Governance, 625 SEMINARS: COMBATING CORRUPTION (Sept. 2011), http://www.india-seminar.com/2011/ 625/625_c_raj_kumar.htm. 744 University of California, Davis [Vol. 49:741

[1]Anti-corruption & Bribery in India

https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=17185ebc-cfd3-4f76-a504-edf12b3361a3 (visited on 11 August 2021).

[1] Department of Public Enterprises (DPE)  

https://dpe.gov.in/about-us/about-department   (visited on 9 August 2021).

[1] Control of Corruption in India: A Socio-Legal Challenge

[1]The role of CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) as an anti-corruption body

https://blog.forumias.com/answereddiscuss-the-role-of-cag-comptroller-and-auditor-general-as-an-anti-corruption-body/ (visited on 10 August 2021).

[1]8 biggest scams that put India to shame

https://yourstory.com/2017/12/8-scams-india?utm_pageloadtype=scroll (visited on 8 August 2021).

Author: Ishaa Srivastava, Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies

Editor: Kanishka VaishSenior Editor, LexLife India.

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