This article is written by Sambavi Marwah, a fourth-year law student, from Delhi Metropolitan Education, GGISPU.
This article talks about corruption and its influence on the provisions of the Indian Constitution. It gives a fair understanding of corruption, laws to prevent it and its impact on Governance and Socio-Economic Rights as well.
Meaning of Corruption
Corruption can be defined as the dishonest behaviour of a person, who uses his position or power to engage in illegal activities like taking bribes, money laundering, defrauding investors, embezzlement etc. Corruption not only affects the people involved in the illegal transaction but also hampers the economy, public relations and escalates discrepancies in the income.
Corruption has in some way become a way of life, which makes it easier for people to earn fast money and get their things easily done without any fuss. Thus, the act of corruption can tempt anyone, whether a politician, a corporate entity or a professional like a lawyer or an accountant.
Laws Laid Down to Prevent Corruption
In India, the laws which deal with corruption are as follows:
- The Indian Penal Code, 1860
- Prevention of Corruption 1988
- Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013
- Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 200
- Service rules for people working under the government (government officials)
Effect of Corruption
Corruption not only affects the individual but also the society and the economy at a large scale. It affects the society by hampering the quality of services being provided, leads to chances of unemployment, illegal activities of corruption leads to injustice, lack of faith in the government officials, etc.
Engaging in corruption not only affects the society but also the economy as activities such as accepting bribes, insider trading or money laundering curbs the growth of the person which leads to delay in the economy’s growth, low literacy rate, thus exposing the economy to a currency crisis.
Constitution and Corruption
The Constitution is known to be the supreme law of the nation. India’s constitution lays down various fundamental rights, fundamental duties, directive principles, etc. to protect the rights of the citizens of the state. The main essence of the Indian constitution is the provision of equal opportunities and justice to the state and its people.
The Fundamental Rights mentioned in Part III, protect the interests of the citizens, whereas the Directive Principles of the State Policy (Part IV) guide the state to function properly and ensure justice to the people.
The basic definition of rights is the entitlement of a human being to have or to do something. It is the duty of the government to protect the basic legal rights of citizens in order to provide justice and maintain equality.
There are for types of rights:
- Political rights
- Social rights
- Economic rights and
- Cultural rights
Social justice is the main one of the basic structure of the Indian Constitution. It is enshrined in the Constitution in the form of Directive Principles of the State Policy, which lay down the social and economic conditions for the citizens to live a good life and provide the guidelines for the states to make laws and policies for the welfare of the nation.
Corruption & Governance
Corruption which is said to be a termite in the system has a great impact on the governance of the state. A nation works for the welfare, development and growth of the citizens. It is an obligation for the country to protect an individual’s rights, in order to help the economy rise and shine. Good governance requires transparency, which may lack if the public servants or the people working in organizations fail to follow.
The practice of corruption exists at different levels, money being exchanged under the table or a person accepting bribes can be found at various level of an organization, whether a public or a private one. It sometimes creates a system where money or power determines access to the services and who receives it. Once it is found that an official accepted a bribe to get the work done, it makes the citizen lose his faith and belief in the working of the system.
Corruption can reach many levels of governance and hamper all its aspects to a great extent. A politician distributing money to the poor in the name of getting elected, an inspector accepting money or a judge giving the judgment in the favor of a criminal are a few examples where corruption has a great impact on governance. Therefore, controlling the practice of corruption is important to achieve good governance and maintain the trust and faith of the people.
Corruption & Socio-Economic Rights
Social and economic rights are the rights which provide protection for the well-being of an individual. These rights help to maintain one’s dignity and ensure the provision of justice to all the citizens.
Examples of Socio-Economic Rights:
- Right to education
- Right to adequate living
- Right to fair wages
- Right to health, etc.
Corruption negatively impacts the enjoyment of all social and economic rights. It creates loopholes in the working of the government sectors. The state is said to be the protector of the human rights as it provides legality to such rights and makes sure that justice is not denied to any individual, whether rich or poor, male or female, young or old, etc.
It impacts the ability of the State to protect and fulfil its human rights obligations and to deliver relevant services, including a functioning judiciary, law enforcement, health, education, and social services.
Therefore the fight against corruption is not only an individual’s concern but also a major trouble for the society as it damages the well-being of various sectors of the society. It acts as a hindrance in the route to achievement of growth and development of an individual.
Corruption is one of the main reasons as to why people do not have faith in the system. It not only affects the people involved in the illegal transaction but also hampers the economy and public relations. It is evident that corruption results in discrimination and has a negative impact on the governance of the system. To completely curb the problem of corruption, strict actions should be taken against the people being involved in such cases.
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