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Law panel to Modi Govt: Bribery for 'good intention' should not be considered a crime

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New Delhi, Feb 17: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, throughout his electioneering, sought votes to curb widespread corruption and bribery in the government offices, but if reports are to be believed then Law Commission has come up with a recommendation that might promote bribery.

Bribery to be legalised in India?
As per reports, suggesting amendments in the Prevention of Corruption Amendment Bill, 2013, the Law Commission wants to decriminalisation of bribery 'if taken for a right cause'.

That means, the law panel has suggested the government to not to penalise a government employee if he is caught seeking bribe for a good cause.

For this, the panel has come up with a justification that Indian employees do not seek bribe only for their personal interests, infact bribe here is taken to get some of the work done on time.

If this recommendation is accepted then only those public servants would be punished who misused their office by taking bribe.

It must be noted that taking money or favours to get the work done is legal in several countries, there it is termed as 'facilitation fee'. A person is free to pay some extra money to get his/her work done quickly.

With India bidding big ticket investments, the Law Commission, last week, recommended mandatory norms by government for commercial organisations to prevent bribery.

Recommending amendments to the bill, the law panel proposed introducing a "statutory obligation" on the government to publish guidance about the procedures that commercial organisations can take to put in place "adequate systems" to prevent bribery to public servants.

It said in Section 9, a new sub-clause can be added to make it clear that "the central government shall prescribe and publish guidelines about the adequate procedures, which can be put in place by commercial organisations to prevent persons associated with them from bribing any person, being or expecting to be, a public servant".

It said the guidelines shall be prescribed and published by the Centre "after following a consultation process in which the views of all the interested stakeholders are obtained".

Section 10 of the bill pending in the Rajya Sabha extends the liability of the commercial organisation to every person who is in charge of and is responsible to the organisation for the conduct of its business through a deeming provision. The panel in its latest report submitted to the Law Ministry has also recommended amending Section 10.

The revised Section 10 now states that if an offence by a commercial organisation is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the commercial organisation, then such person shall be guilty of the offence and will be liable to be proceeded against and punishable with imprisonment which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to seven years.

OneIndia News

(With inputs from PTI)

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