Published On: Tue, Dec 1st, 2015

Bill enhancing max graft penalty to 7 yrs from 5 yrs moved in Rajya Sabha

New Delhi: An anti corruption amendment bill aiming at enhancing penalty for graft to a maximum of seven years from the present five years, among other things, was moved for consideration in the Rajya Sabha today.

Union Minister Jitendra Singh moved

Union Minister Jitendra Singh moved the Bill enhancing maximum graft penalty to 7 yearrs from 5 yearrs in Rajya Sabha.

Union Minister Jitendra Singh moved the bill to amend the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 saying, “I seek the permission of the House to move for consideration” of the Bill.

The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2015 also aims to provide a shield of protection to government employees after they have resigned or retired from the service.

Union Cabinet had on April 29 given its nod to official amendments to the bill that provides for more stringent punishment for the offences of bribery — both for the bribe giver and the bribe taker.

The Cabinet has enhanced penal provisions under the bill 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.

The bill also proposes to ensure speedy conclusion of corruption-related cases by providing that trial be completed within two years period.

The amendments being brought through the bill also proposes to confer the powers of attachment upon the trial court (Special Judge) instead of the District Court.

It is proposes to extend the protection of prior sanction for prosecution to public servants who cease to hold office due to retirement, resignation etc.

“Further, prior sanction for inquiry and investigation shall be required from the Lokpal or Lokayukta, as the case may be, for investigation of offences relatable to recommendations made or decision taken by a public servant in discharge of official functions or duties,” as per the official amendments in the bill.

The NDA government has refrained from introducing large-scale amendments to the PC Act and made only a few changes to the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 that was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on August 19, 2013 by the previous UPA regime.

It was referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee which had submitted its report to the Upper House on February 6 last year. But the bill could not be passed.

Non-monetary gratification has also been covered within the definition of the word gratification in the bill.

PTI

About the Author