Properties of corrupt babus may soon be seized

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Indian Parliament
New Delhi, Sep 29: A report by The Times Of India revealed that the Centre would soon amend Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 to confiscate the properties of corrupt babus.

The PC Act, which states the maximum jail term of seven years for a convicted official, does not allow the government to seize the unaccounted for property.

"We are seriously considering a proposal for amending the PC Act to allow the state to confiscate an official's property obtained through corrupt means after a court convicts him,'' law minister Veerappa Moily told TOI.

However, the law ministry is yet to decide whether to carry out the measure after the court convicts the corrupt official or after the appeal remedy is exhausted.

Section 12 of the PC Act states that a official found guilty for the first time would be sentenced between six months and five years along with a fine.

Under section 14, for a habitual offender the punishment may extend from two to seven years imprisonment.

However, Chief Justice of India, K G Balakrishnan recently said the Centre is justified to confiscate the assets of a corrupt official though he said the decision of amendment must be taken cautiously.

"Such proposals need to be thoroughly examined for their constitutional compatibility before being enacted in the form of legislation," said he.

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