Giving bribe a crime bigger than accepting it – 7 Years jail for giving bribe against 5 years term to Public Servant accepting bribe under Prevention of Corruption Amendment Act 2018
The Government has notified Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act 2018 which provides for a maximum punishment of 7 years to those offering bribe to a Public Servant.
The relevant amendments made are as under:
Bribe/gratification now include non pecuniary gratifications also.
Act of a Public servant for obtaining/ attempting to obtain bribe have been categorised as under:
(a) done with intention to perform or cause performance of public duty improperly or dishonestly or to forbear or cause forbearance to perform such duty either by himself or by another public servant; or
(b) done as a reward for the improper or dishonest performance of a public duty or for forbearing to perform such duty either by himself or another public servant; or
(c) done to perform or induce another public servant to perform improperly or dishonestly a public duty or to forbear performance of such duty in anticipation of or in consequence of accepting an undue advantage from any person,
In all the above cases, the Public Servant shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.
Amended Section 7 As per the amended section 8, the person giving bribe shall also be punishable with imprisonment of seven years or with fine or with both.
However, the provisions shall not apply where a person is compelled to give such bribe if the person so compelled has reported the matter to the law enforcement authority or investigating agency within a period of seven days from the date of giving such bribe. Also if a person, after informing a law enforcement authority or investigating agency, gives or promises to give any bribe/undue advantage to another person in order to assist such law enforcement authority or investigating agency shall also not be guilty.
Illustration.—A person, ‘P’ gives a public servant, ‘S’ an amount of ten thousand rupees to ensure that he is granted a license, over all the other bidders. ‘P’ is guilty.
Explanation.—It shall be immaterial whether the person to whom a bribe is given or promised to be given is the same person as the person who is to perform, or has performed, the public duty concerned, and, it shall also be immaterial whether such undue advantage is given or promised to be given by the person directly or through a third party.
When the bribe is offered by a commercial organisation, such commercial organisation shall be punishable with fine. However If such offence is proved in the court to have been committed with the consent or connivance of any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the commercial organisation, such persons shall be punishable with imprisonment up to seven years in addition to fine.
The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 defines “public servant” as under-
(i) any person in the service or pay of the Government or remunerated by the Government by fees or commission for the performance of any public duty;
(ii) any person in the service or pay of a local authority;
(iii) any person in the service or pay of a corporation established by or under a Central, Provincial or State Act, or an authority or a body owned or controlled or aided by the Government or a Government company as defined in section 617 of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956);
(iv) any Judge, including any person empowered by law to discharge, whether by himself or as a member of any body of persons, any adjudicatory functions;
(v) any person authorised by a court of justice to perform any duty, in connection with the administration of justice, including a liquidator, receiver or commissioner appointed by such court;
(vi) any arbitrator or other person to whom any cause or matter has been referred for decision or report by a court of justice or by a competent public authority;
(vii) any person who holds an office by virtue of which he is empowered to prepare, publish, maintain or revise an electoral roll or to conduct an election or part of an election;
(viii) any person who holds an office by virtue of which he is authorised or required to perform any public duty;
(ix) any person who is the president, secretary or other office-bearer of a registered co-operative society engaged in agriculture, industry, trade or banking, receiving or having received any financial aid from the Central Government or a State Government or from any corporation established by or under a Central, Provincial or State Act, or any authority or body owned or controlled or aided by the Government or a Government company as defined in section 617 of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956);
(x) any person who is a chairman, member or employee of any Service Commission or Board, by whatever name called, or a member of any selection committee appointed by such Commission or Board for the conduct of any examination or making any selection on behalf of such Commission or Board;
(xi) any person who is a Vice-Chancellor or member of any governing body, professor, reader, lecturer or any other teacher or employee, by whatever designation called, of any University and any person whose services have been availed of by a University or any other public authority in connection with holding or conducting examinations;
(xii) any person who is an office-bearer or an employee of an educational, scientific, social, cultural or other institution, in whatever manner established, receiving or having received any financial assistance from the Central Government or any State Government, or local or other public authority.
Explanation 1.—Persons falling under any of the above sub-clauses are public servants, whether appointed by the Government or not.
Explanation 2.—Wherever the words “public servant” occur, they shall be understood of every person who is in actual possession of the situation of a public servant, whatever legal defect there may be in his right to hold that situation.