Combatting Corruption: An Analysis of Anti-Corruption Laws in India
Anti-corruption is a term that refers to activities that discourage, oppose or inhibit the practice of corruption. As one of the earliest concerns of moral and political discourse, from classical antiquity and till date, corruption has long blinded human affairs. Its definition ranges from moral/religious to economic, political and legal disciplines. The menace of corruption is a global challenge. Corruption basically refers to the abuse of entrusted powers for private gains and benefits. Corruption comprise of multiple forms such as administrative corruption, political, grand, petty and public corruption. It has posed severe threats to several sectors of public policy implementations in at least every country around the world.
The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988
The prevention of corruption Act, 1988 was enacted with the aim to eradicate corruption in public sector enterprises as well as holding accountable corrupt officials involved in the act of corruption in India. The Act further defines corruption as the abuse of public office for personal gains. It further prohibits the habits of using public finances for personal gains. The Act also prohibits public officials from accepting bribes or obtaining undue advantages or favor by engaging in corrupt activities. The Act prescribes for the establishment of expert officials as prosecutors to adjudicate on cases involving corruption among public officials in India.
Efficacy of the Act
The Act has been so instrumental in tackling cases involving corruption in India. It has ensured minimized abuse of public financial resources as establishing case filing procedures, investigation procedures as well as penal provisions to the culprits involved in corruption. Several corruption related cases have been disposed-off under the regulation of this Act and more statutory authorities have favorably been established in order to strengthen the anti-corruption laws in India.
However, the effectiveness of this legislation have been limited by several factors including the narrow interpretation of corruption, limited financial resources by the government, underdeveloped digital mechanisms to keep records of financial tracks, very weak implementation procedures and the involvement of political decision in case dispositions.
Measures to Enforce Anti-Corruption Laws in India
The mechanisms to enforce the Anti-corruption laws in India are so diverse that it suggests different approaches to tackle the different forms of corruption. It is equally a natural fact that the fight against corruption is merely an emphasis to mitigate, prevent and control the hazards of corruption but not necessarily to cease the same as it is in its very fact impossible. Therefore, the following are key observations necessary to enforce anti-corruption rules and regulations in India.
- Deepen the understanding of the interlink ages between corruption and organized crime in order to develop action-specific targets in India. The interpretation of corruption in ought to be understood in a broader level as this hazard is not necessarily limited to financial laundering but rather includes the acts of bribery used in employment opportunities as well as availing other public services in India.
- Strengthen domestic legal frameworks to ensure that corruption as well as organized crimes are subject to sanctions appropriate to their gravity. It is imperative to reinforce the legal provisions related to corruption. This can be done by ensuring that the corrupt officials are carefully brought to justice and all such recognized officials are dealt with according to act exemplary portrays to the greater public servants.
- Fortify preventive mechanisms to tackle corruption in India. Preventive laws such as anti-corruption laws as well as prevention of money laundering Acts are very essential legislations that helps to prevent corruption in all its spheres.
- Devise measures to prevent corrupt actors from enjoying the proceeds of their crimes in India. Sufficient penal provisions shall be established in order to prevent the public involvement in corruption as well as money laundering in India.
- Improve justice supportive mechanisms such as investigations, detections and prosecution in order to improve the enforcement of anti-corruption laws in India.
- Provide for effective and adequate protection and reporting mechanisms for whistle-blowers, witnesses and victims of corruption in India. Adequate protection shall be provided to reporters and witnesses as well as victims of corruption in India.
- Encourage international cooperation to counter corruption and improve on detection, investigation and prosecution of corrupt officials through extradition treaties on corruption related offences.
- Improving the legal structure to eliminate its lacunae that promotes corruption. Improved anti-corruption laws shall be established to eradicate the errors of law in its vagueness and lack of specificity in matters of corruption in India.
- Ensuring economic reforms in India. Illegal monetary dealings such as black market money exchange needs to be avoided at all costs. This helps to keep financial records and the flow of national currency under the control and regulation of the central banks only.
- Develop appropriate measures to tackle social problems such as poverty. Public policy implementation is a vital tool to tackle social problems such as poverty and illiteracy. This is so imperative to curtail the greed for money among public servants.
- Emphasis on the independence of the judiciary and ensuring its utmost efficacy. The implementation of the justice system in matters of money laundering and corruption shall be dealt by law only. This can be done by enforcing the independence of the judiciary, free from external political, economic and social interferences.
- Improvement on the administrative efficacy of the government and the anti-corruption organizations in India. The demand for ensuring the efficiency of every public servant shall be mandatorily ensured and proper record keeping needs to be done. Proper criteria shall be employed in establishing the structures of organizations. These criteria help to keep qualified and honest man power in positions of public offices.
- Political reforms. This is necessary in avoiding politics of patronage among the public officials and maltreatment of the public by such officials. This can be done by ensuring accountability and improving the general structures and establishing a central unit of checks and balances among public officials.
Anti-corruption laws in India have played very crucial importance and curtailing the hazards of corruption in India. However, due to the persistent increase in the rates of corruption in India, more emphasis has to be engaged in order to minimize the menace of corruption in India. Just as Kautilya emphasized, it is impossible not to taste the honey that finds itself at the tip of the tongue, so it is impossible for a government servant not to eat up at least a bit of the king’s revenue. It is therefore impossible to eradicate corruption but rather the same can be minimized by these regulations in India.