The Rajya Sabha on July 19, 2018, passed the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 by a voice vote. The Bill seeks to amend the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha after thorough deliberations with the Standing Committee and the Law Commission and finally after consultations in the Select Committee. Now the Bill will be tabled in the Lok Sabha.
1. The Bill introduces the offense of giving a bribe as a direct offense. However, a person who is compelled to give a bribe will not be charged with the offense, if he reports the matter to law enforcement authorities within seven days.
2. The Bill redefines criminal misconduct to only cover misappropriation of property and possession of disproportionate assets. It does not cover circumstances where the public official: (i) uses illegal means, (ii) abuses his position, or (iii) disregards public interest and obtains a valuable thing or reward for himself or another person.
3. It introduces the powers and procedures for the attachment and forfeiture of property of public servants accused of corruption.
4. The Bill modifies the definitions and penalties for offenses related to taking a bribe, being a habitual offender and abetting an offense.
5. The Bill makes specific provisions related to giving a bribe to a public servant and giving a bribe by a commercial organization.