Tag Archives: corruption

Corruption – Meaning of

Corruption has various shades and many a times it is not a mere give and take money in cash but it can be practiced in a variety of ways. Normally, it is difficult to prove corruption by direct evidence unless one is caught red handed accepting undue advantage. Though in a civilized society, corruption has always been viewed with particular distaste to be condemned and criticized by everybody but still one loves to engage himself in it if finds opportunity, ordinarily, since it is difficult to resist temptation. It is often, a kind, parallel to the word ‘bribery’, meaning whereof in the context of the politicians or bureaucrats, induced to become corrupt.

            The Greek Philosopher Plato, in 4th Century B.C. said, “in the Republic that only politicians who gain no personal advantage from the policies they pursued would be fit to govern. This is recognized also in the aphorism that those who want to hold power are most likely those least fit to do so.”

            While giving speech before the House of Lords William Pitt in the later half of 18th Century said, “Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it.”

            Corruption is a term known to all of us. Precise meaning is illegal, immoral or unauthorized act done in due course of employment but literally it means “inducement (as of a public official) by improper means (as bribery) to violate duty (as by committing a felony).” It is a specially pernicious form of discrimination. Apparently its purpose is to seek favourable, privileged treatment from  those who are in authority. No one would indulge in corruption at all if those who are in authority, discharge their service by treating all equally.

            Corruption also violates human rights. It discriminates against the poor by denying them access to public services and preventing from exercising their political rights on account of their incapacity of indulging in corruption, of course on account of poverty and other similar related factors. Corruption is, therefore, divisive and makes a significant contribution to social inequality and conflict. It undermines respect for authority and increases cynicism. It discourages participation of individuals in civilized society and elevates self interest as a guide to conduct. In social terms it can be said that corruption develops a range bound field of behavior, attitude and beliefs.

            Corruption is antithesis of good governance and democratic politics, It is said, when corruption is pervasive, it permeates every aspect of people’s lives. It can affect the air they breathe, the water they drink and the food they eat. Shailendra Kumar Upadhyay v. State of U.P., 2019 (134) ALR 347.

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Misconduct – Possession of Pecuniary Resources

A public servant charged of criminal misconduct thereunder has to be proved by the prosecution to be in possession of pecuniary resources or property disproportionate to his known sources of income, at any time during the period of his office. Such possession of pecuniary resources or property disproportionate to his known sources of income maybe his or of anyone on his behalf as the case may be. Further, he would be held to be guilty of such offence of criminal misconduct, if he cannot satisfactorily account for such disproportionate pecuniary resources or property. The Explanation to Section 13(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act elucidates the words “known sources of income” to mean income received from any lawful source and that such receipt has been intimated in accordance with the provisions of law, rules, orders for the time being applicable to a public servant.

From the design and purport of clause (e) of sub-section (1) to Section 13, it is apparent that the primary burden to bring home the charge of criminal misconduct thereunder would be indubitably on the prosecution to establish beyond reasonable doubt that the public servant either himself or through anyone else had at anytime during period of his office been in possession of pecuniary resources or property disproportionate to his known sources of income and it is only on the discharge of such burden by the prosecution, if he fails to satisfactorily account for the same, he would be in law held guilty of such offence. In other words, in case the prosecution fails to prove that the public servant either by himself or through anyone else had at any time during the period of his office been in possession of pecuniary resources or property disproportionate to his known sources of income, he would not be required in law to offer any explanation to satisfactorily account therefor. A public servant facing such charge, cannot be comprehended to furnish any explanation in the absence of the proof of the allegation of being in possession by himself or through someone else, of pecuniary else, of pecuniary resources of property disproportionate to his known sources of income. Vasant Rao Guhe v. State of M.P., (2017) 14 SCC 442.

 

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Corruption – Meaning of

Corruption is antithesis of good governance and democratic politics. It is said, that when corruption is pervasive, it permeates every aspect of people’s lives. It can affect the air they breathe, the water they drink and the food they eat. Going further, some more terminology can also be given to different shades of corruption like, financial corruption, cultural corruption, moral corruption, idealogical corruption etc. The fact remains that from whatever angle it is looked into, the ultimate result borne out is that, and the real impact of corruption is, the poor suffers most, the poverty grows darker, and rich become more richer.
In Secretary, Jaipur Development Authority v. Daulat Mal Jain, (1997) 1 SCC 34 it was held as under:
“When satisfaction sought in the performance of duties is for mutual personal gain, the misuse is usually termed as ‘corruption’”.
In High Court of Judicature at Bombay v. Shirishkumar Rangrao Patil, (1997) 6 SCC 339, the court held:
“Corruption, appears to have spread everywhere. No facet of public function has been left unaffected by the putrefied stink of ‘corruption’. ‘Corruption’ thy name is depraved and degraded conduct…..In the widest connotation, ‘corruption’ includes improper or selfish exercise of power and influence attached to a public office.”
In B.R. Kapur v. State of T.N., (2001) 7 SCC 231, it was held:
“scope of ‘corruption’ in the governing structure has heightened opportunism and unscrupulousness among political parties, causing them to marry and divorce one another at will, seek opportunistic alliances and coalitions often without the popular mandate.”
In State of A.P. v. V. Vasudeva Rao, (2004) 9 SCC 319, the Hon’ble Court stated as under:
“The word ‘corruption’ has wide connotation and embraces almost all the spheres of our day-to-day life the world over. In a limited sense, it connotes allowing decisions and actions of a person to be influenced not by rights or wrongs of a cause, but by the prospects of monetary gains or other selfish considerations.” In the Matter of I.F.C.A.I. v. D.K. Agrawal F.C.A., 2017 (123) ALR 374.

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Whistleblower – Basic Requirements

One of the basic requirements of a person being accepted as a “whistleblower” is that his primary motive for the activity should be in furtherance of public good. In other words, the activity has to be undertaken in public interest, exposing illegal activities of a public organization or authority. Every informer cannot automatically said to be a bonafide “whistleblower”. A “whistleblower” would be a person who possesses the qualities of a crusader. His honesty, integrity and motivation should leave little or no room for doubt. It is not enough that such person is from the same organization and privy to some information, not available to the general public. The primary motivation for the action of a person to be called a “whistleblower” should be to cleanse an organistaion. It should not be incidental or byproduct for an action taken for some ulterior or selfish motive. Manoj H. Mishra v. Union of India, (2013) 6 SCC 313.

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