New Delhi, Aug 26 : Family members and secret lovers of corrupt Chinese officials too could face trial if the draft of the Criminal Law's seventh amendment is passed.
Spouses and children of and/or people who have "intimate relations" with corrupt officials could be jailed for more than seven years if they are found guilty of taking advantage of such officials' positions to get bribes or make money illegally.
The draft was submitted to the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, the country's top legislature, for the first reading on Monday, the China Daily reported.
Huang Taiyun, director of the criminal law division of the committee's Legal Affairs Commission, said "people who have intimate relations" mainly mean secret lovers of corrupt officials.
Retired officials, too, could face similar punishment if they use their influence in the government to make money illegally, the draft says.
It proposes tougher penalties for officials with big assets from unidentified sources. Officials who cannot give the source of their assets could be jailed for up to 10 years, instead of the current five years.
"We consider it necessary to impose severe punishment on officials abusing their power for personal gains," Li Shishi, director of the NPC Standing Committee's Legal Affairs Commission, said.
Taking bribes has become a practice among some relatives and/or lovers of corrupt officials. So "they too deserve severe punishment", he said.
Li said the amendments are in line with some NPC deputies' proposals and in response to public opinion that such people get the most severe punishment.
Many of the corrupt officials tend to have extra-marital affairs.