Government moves bill to make bribe-giving an offence

New Delhi, Aug 6 (IANS) Amid ruckus and disruptions in the Rajya Sabha, the government on Thursday moved a bill to amend the Prevention of Corruption Act making the giving of bribe also a crime along with receiving it.

The bill, introduced in the Rajya Sabha in 2013 and subsequently sent to a parliamentary panel, makes giving a bribe a specific offence.

It also covers retired public servants, but one controversial clause pertains to a provision requiring prior sanction to prosecute serving and former public officials.

“The government is committed to bring in more transparency and accountability in governance and to live by its pledge of maximum governance, minimum government,” Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Jitendra Singh, said while moving the bill.

“There are, in the amendments, certain measures which would disincentive bribe-giving and bring into the ambit of accountability and answerability the bribe-giver as well,” he said.

“At the same time, it also envisages certain amendments that ensure that an honest and upright officer does not suffer from any intimidation or loss of initiative for which we are going to make certain amendments to enlarge the ambit of permission for initiating proceedings against an officer to all levels, regardless of his status, and similarly to also introduce procedure for seeking permission for prosecution of an officer even after he has superannuated,” he said.

The bill, however, could not be taken up for discussion as the opposition created a ruckus, and said the bill cannot be discussed till the house was in order.



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