Punishment for graft to be substantially increased: govt

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Parliament of India
New Delhi, Jun 3: In a bid to dissuade Baba Ramdev from going ahead with his fast, government tonight assured him that the maximum punishment for corruption would be "substantially increased" but remained silent on his demand that those who indulge in huge graft should be hanged.

In a point-by-point response to the issues raised by the yoga guru who will go on an indefinite hunger strike from tomorrow, the cabinet secretariat, in a late night statement, said the possibility of ill-gotten money being confiscated under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act could also be explored.

Besides, the Department of Personnel is considering the inclusion of a chapter in the Prevention of Corruption Act to provide for confiscation of ill-gotten wealth, it said.

The joint drafting committee on Lokpal bill has under its consideration stronger punishment for the corrupt, the statement said.

"The maximum punishment for cases of corruption would be increased substantially," it said.

The statement said government is open to the idea of more special courts to speed up trial of corruption cases.

On the demand of the yoga guru for enactment of public services delivery legislation, government said it was prepared to introduce a Public Services Delivery Bill in Parliamenmt at the earliest and to prepare a model bill for adoption by state governments.

It assured Ramdev that the Centre will encourage states to adopt the Model Bill to improve the quality and timeliness of public service delivery.

PTI

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