WHAT IS CORRUPTION ?
The largest democracy in the world,
Corruption is termed as a plague, which is not only contagious but if not controlled spreads like fire in a jungle. Its virus is compared with HIV leading to AIDS, being incurable. It has also been termed as royal thievery. The socio-political system exposed to such a dreaded communicable disease is likely to crumble under its own weight. Corruption is opposed to democracy and social order, being not only anti-people, but aimed and targeted against them. It affects the economy and destroys the cultural heritage. Unless nipped in the bud at the earliest, it is likely to cause turbulence- shaking of the socio-economic-political system in an otherwise healthy, wealthy, effective and vibrating society .
There is a close relationship between organized crime and corruption. In many cases where organized crime cannot achieve its objectives through the use or threat of violence, corruption may be a very effective alternative. But, unlike other forms of crime (such as drug trafficking, theft, fraud, and so on) corruption is never an end in itself: it is a means to an end - wealth, power, influence, favors or control.
The view on what constitutes corruption depends to a significant extent on the cultural, ethical and religious environment in which it exists.
The absence or weakness of leadership in key positions capable of inspiring and influencing conduct mitigating corruption; the weakness of religious and ethical guidance in this area; the absence of severe punitive measures for corrupt behavior; the absence of an environment conducive to anti-corrupt behavior; the state of society: corruption in a bureaucracy tends to reflect the values of the society to which it belongs; the lack of education; poverty; and radical change: whenever a value system is undergoing a radical change, corruption frequently emerges as a transitional malaise .
Mr. Vijay Rama Rao, former Director of Central Biureau of Investigation (
A new household survey released today by Transparency International (TI) reports high levels of corruption in public institutions in
The latest report by TI, entitled Corruption in
After the police and judiciary, land administration was identified as the next most corrupt sector across the region, according to the experiences of South Asian households. In
The survey, conducted in
A murder may be committed in the heat of movement upon passions being aroused. An economic offence is committed with cool calculation and deliberate design with an eye on personal profit regardless of the consequence to that community .
“A civilization begins to decline when society becomes corrupt; a civilization falls, when society becomes impervious to corruption”. The fundamental nature of a corrupt police force anywhere in the world is the character of “Greed breed Greed”.
HISTORY OF WHITE COLLAR CRIMES
Historical survey of records, projects that in development process, many code had come into existence and were replaced due to need of the times. “Veda” was the authoritative text, which first recognized immoral conduct of people as “sins” or “crimes” and prescribed “paryachitha” and penal systems to erdicate the same. Later on, Hammurabi framed the criminal Code in 2100 BC in which “Crime” was recognized as a punishable factor and people were threatened by fear of punishment by God or God-kings to conform to the approved pattern of conduct. In 200 BC another Code was prepared by “Manu” to deal with criminal offences. He gave clear picture of law and observed it to be grounded on immemmorial custom, embraced as the root of all piety, good usage’s which were long established. During the reign of Chandragupta in 300 AD, the famous Code “Arthasasthra” of Koutilya was came into existance . This Code carried principles of Manu and other Rishies and provided a complete criminal administration in
Before an analysis in the situation of corruption and bribery in the third world countries, an essential element of white collar crime this paper trying to explain the basic characters of corruption and bribery.
CORRRUPTION AND BRIBERY
Bribery as used in Encyclopedia Americana is said to be voluntary receiving or giving anything of value in payment for an official act done or to be done and that it is not confined to judicial officers or other persons concerned in the administration of justice, but it extends to all officers concerned with the administration of the Government executive, legislative and judicial and under the approximate circumstance military.
Bribery as used in the Coke’s institute is the receiving or offering any undue reward or to any person whatsoever in public office, inorder to influence his behavior in office and undue him to act contrary to the known rules of honesty and integrity .
As understood in common law, the thing offered or accepted as bribe need not be money, but may be property, services or anything else of value. Now the offence is defined by statute, so that a report to common law is not often necessary except for general principles. Theorists of corruption, for example, categorize bribes ingenuine sense: as being transactional and variance bribes . And in the most extreme manifestations, a bribe, which amounts to out right, purchase not just the service of the servants .
The Supreme of Court of India observed that Bribe is not charity but shrewd business. Bribe given not only to get things unlawfully done but also to get lawful things done promptly .
It was held by the Supreme Court of India the word “Corrupt” does not necessarily include an element of bribe taking, it implies something more, as denoting conduct, which is morally unsound, and debated . Corruption there for is used in much wider sense than bribery. The distinction between the two is that Corruption has wider a connotation and included bribery. When bribery is restricted to conforming of benefit by one upon another in cash or in kind to procure an illegal or dishonest action in favour of the giver, corruption in its wide sweep takes in the use of all kinds of corrupt practices.
The term “Bribery” and “Corruption” can best be represented in the diagram of two concentric circles. Corruption represents the larger circle with which is the next circle representing “Bribery” .
The sight of a man or woman bleeding to death or in a state of terminal shock, writhing in agony does not move of those who work in hospitals. Only the seed money can, to an extent make them human is the tendency. As a means of accelerating sluggish meandering circulation of a file within a department, this might be all very well; but ‘speed money’, belying the name, actually has the effect of a brake on administration allowing it down even further. Delay will deliberately be caused in order to invite payment of bribe to accelerate it again. Bribery directly hit on human rights when the prey was forced to either try the police machinery to move or try to become idle or to get done the backgrounds of a police case in his favor. In the case of motor accidents, suicide, scene mahazer, body inquest, postmortem, certificate showing cause of death etc are direct sensitive points of corruption/bribe people Vs police.
Each instances of bribe and the adverse consequences due to non-greasing of police resulted in human rights violations. The result of this inhuman conduct of police result loses of faith in administration of law enforcement and people became cynical and demoralized. They lost faith in the system. They distrust the police. If this be the police the human are suffering from environmental problems due to the money power of industrialists multi-national as well as national.
The common character shown by police men is the sham show of serving the public interest, but under the cover of it, sinister personal interest is fulfilled. Police, then judiciary most corrupt public institutions in
"It is well documented that petty corruption is rife in
The survey shows that bribes are a heavy financial burden on South Asian households, both due to the high frequency of bribes and to the large sums paid. More than half of the users of public hospitals in
"The TI Corruption in South Asia survey strongly supports the case for empowering regulatory bodies, such as the office of the Ombudsman," said Gopakumar Krishnan, "to oversee the activities of public agencies, which across the region are the sole providers of many basic necessities. The findings also indicate that where the law is silent on standards of service, agencies simply provide poorer services." He added: "TI has identified that increasing measures to improve transparency, from citizens' charters to the practice of publicly posting official fees, has proven effective in holding public officials to account and reducing corruption."
It is quiet interesting to say about corruption at this point of time in
For fighting corruption public education and prevention are equally important. A number of factors explain this growing emphasis on fighting corruption. Countries with high levels of corruption, like
A preliminary analysis of the literature shows that corruption in
To combat systemic corruption in
development is not the product of set of blueprints given by the political leadership independently of the civil society but is often a joint output of the civil society itself. Viewed in this perspective, anti-corruption strategies are not simply policies that can be planned in advance and isolation, but often a set of subtler insights that can be developed only in conjunction with citizen participation. Combating corruption is, therefore, not just a matter of making laws and creating
institutions, but rather it is deeply rooted in the activities of the civil society itself.
The biggest cause of corruption in today’s
Constitutional norms in the pursuit of power, political survival at any cost are their rules of the game. They interfere with the administration of justice and have bent bureaucracy to do their bidding.
The Railway Corruption Enquiry Committee, chaired by J.B. Kriplani, corruption was a failure of citizen ship. Whether it was the bribe, ticket less travel or theft, all these were acts which undermined the state. The report ruthlessly listed the categories of people who refused to pay and their attitude towards it. Politicians and senior bureaucrats were among those who claimed exemption from paying for travel on account of their status. The report therefore went on to
insist that “apart from administrative reforms, and punitive measures, there is a great need for higher officials to play the leaders in a reform movement”. The strange part of the story of the early years of corruption in
The administrative procedures and practices which are cumbersome are another major cause of corruption in
1861. The Indian Evidence Act came into force in 1872. The Indian Telegraph Act, which regulates the control of air-waves and licensing of broadcasting facilities, was passed in 1855-even before the invention of the wireless.
The English men designed Indian legal system based on distrust of the ‘natives’ and a firm belief in their inability to govern themselves. It has in built provisions for delays, prolonged litigation and evasion. Its provisions are ideally suited to the promotion of corruption at all levels, as graft provides the quickest immunity from delays and punitive action.
Another factor to the growth of corruption in
The judicial system is so expensive, dilatory, and inefficient that it takes years and years for corruption cases to be decided.
10-20 years (Vittal 1999). Justice delayed is justice denied in most cases of corruption.
Public administration is a sub-system of the political system which itself is a part of the larger whole called the social system. Therefore the societal culture or societal environment has powerful impact on public administration.
Acceptance in the social psyche and behavior. Social evils like bribery, nepotism and favoritism have come to be accepted in the society. People often approach someone known to them for favors which they know are not legally due to them. Jumping the traffic lights or a queue or getting the benefits not due to one has become part of social ethos.
A person who has acquired wealth through unfair means is often accorded the same, if not higher, status in Indian society as that given to persons of excellence.
A recent study by the Peruvian economist Paolo Mauro (1995 and 1998) found that a corrupt country is likely to face aggregate investment levels of approximately 5 percentage points less, than a relatively uncorrupt country. The evidence from
by some 12 percent and the GDP growth rate by almost 1.5 percent each year (Gandhi 1997)..
The impact of corruption on the quality of public infrastructure is all too clearly visible in the towns and cities of
50% out of which almost 30% is attributed to theft which is done with the connivance of the electricity board employees.
Corruption also reduces the government’s resources and hence its capacity for investment, since tax revenues are depleted by tax evasion (Jain 1998, Shahid 1991).
The damaging effects of corruption on investment and economic growth are widely recognised. But corruption also has adverse effects on human development. First, corruption reduces the availability and increases the cost of basic social services. Access to core social services can be easily restricted with the intention to make corrupt gains. For instance, a government doctor may deliberately store away free medicines until he is bribed, a police inspector may deny a First Information Report to a victim until he is paid a kickback, and a principal may refuse to admit a child in a school until he is paid under-the counter.
Politically, corruption increases injustice and disregard for rule of law. Basic human rights and freedoms come under threat, as key judicial decisions are based on the extent of corrupt bribes given to court officials rather than on the innocence or guilt of the parties concerned.
Police investigations and arrests may be based on political victimization or personal vendettas rather than on solid legal grounds. Commenting on the socio-political consequences of corruption the
Supreme Court of India observed in the judgement cited above that corruption in a civilised society was a disease like cancer. If not detected in time it was sure to turn the polity malignant leading to “disastrous consequences”. The apex court said a socio-political system exposed to such a dreaded communicable disease
was likely to crumble under its own weight.
For Combating Corruption the colonial rulers had established the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) to control corruption which surged during the Second World War. The Prevention of Corruption Act was passed in 1947 an Administrative Vigilance Division (AVD) created in the home ministry in 1955. Then, owing
to mounting public criticism, a Committee on Prevention of Corruption was appointed in 1962 under K. Santhanam to examine this issue in depth and recommend remedial measures. As a result of its recommendations, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), independent of ministerial control was set up in 1964. Another important measure during the early decades was the creation of
the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 1963, which incorporated DSPE as the Investigation and Anti-Corruption Division (Gill 1998). The Prevention of Corruption Act 1947 was amended and 1988 Act was came into force on the 9th September 1988, the date on which the Act has received the assent of the President.
Another essential component of anti-corruption strategy is the strict enforcement of the principle of accountability at all levels. Government decisions are taken at various levels of government in which discretionary power may be involved. There is general lack of accountability in administration.
The judiciary has a key role in ensuring that political and administrative power is used only in accordance with law and every one is held accountable for wrong doing or misuse of authority. Recent decisions given by the judiciary have created a hope for corrective action.
As explained earlier administrative delay is one of the major causes of corruption. Therefore to reduce or control corruption it is necessary to eliminate such delays. For that it is essential that office procedures should be simplified and levels of hierarchy reduced.
Public interest litigation which has served the purpose of dragging corrupt officials to the courts.
Thus all the above said may not curb corruption if the public is not conscious of the need for a non-corrupt
Adv.K.C. Suresh, Kerala
 2000 SCC [Cri] 887
 www.transperency.org /press release
 Published in ‘The Hindu’ daily 25-3-1995 (
 www.transperancy.org/press release 12/2002
 AIR 1987 Supreme Court 1321 (
 www.humanrights-china.org visited on 28-10-2006 at 5.10 AM
 Dr. P.C.Alexander The Peril off Democracy 1955 P.16
 The average European students of social thoughts has heard of Great MANU, the Solon of ancient Hindu polity. But it is only Orentalists who will have heard of the of KAUTILYA and his “Arthasasthra” which occupies in Hindu political speculation comaprable only to the “Republic” of the Plato and the “Politics” of the Aristotle in classical antiquity, and which in point of acuteness and clear grasp of facts is match perhaps only by The Prince of Machiavelli.
 Jeremy Bentham (1748 –1832) as cited in Prabhath Chandra Thripathis artcle “The menace of White-Collar crimes an need for a new Court” 1997 Cr.L.J. P.34
 Sutherland, Principles of Criminology, 6th Edition (1960) P.46
 Coke Institute 149, quoted in Russel, On Crime 12th Edition, P.381
 Upendra Baxi,
 W. Michael Recsman, Bribary, Crusades and Reforms, P. 19
 Som Prakash Vs. State of
 Dr. Dut Vs. State of
 Surendra Nath Sahu vs. State of
 Som Praksh Vs. State of
 Combating corruption in
Join LAWyersClubIndia's network for daily News Updates, Judgment Summaries, Articles, Forum Threads, Online Law Courses, and MUCH MORE!!"
Tags :Criminal Law