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Even after 75 years of Independence India is struggling or lacking to resolve the expanding problem of corruption in the nation. Corruption is the practice that is prevailing in the roots of the nation to get work done through backdoors or an illegal or illicit way and at the same time it is acting as a backfire step in the evolution or growth of the nation. The practice of corruption is seen as a hindrance and as a major barrier to success for developing countries like India. As India is a country with a vast and growing population is a tough and challenging problem to regulate or control the activity which is against the law. India is not only the country facing the problem of corruption every growing or evolving nation in the present world faces complications regarding corruption practices prevailing in the nation. This problem was significantly neglected or ignored by the government at the starting point as they felt that these practices will not affect the nation in a threatening way but after reviewing and scrutinizing the corruption practices the government felt there should be policies, acts, regulations structured or designed in such a way so that it can curb the problem of corruption. So the government decided to frame or structure policies, acts, statutes, and norms that can considerably regulate this growing constraint. 


“Corruption” is described as “the unlawful use of governmental authority for private gain.” This abuse of power weakens a democracy by undermining trust between two or more parties. Additionally, corruption may exacerbate poverty and inequality while impeding a country’s ability to prosper economically. Understanding how corruption operates is crucial to exposing it and holding the dishonest accountable for establishing a corrupt system. The growth of the nation is badly impacted by its aftermath and acts as a hindrance toward the systematic and continuous progress of the nation.


We are natives of Gandhi’s country, for whom the essential tenets of life were honesty and nonviolence. I will use the 2000-year-old Vedic proverb “Satyam vadhadharmam charah” as an example. The motto of our country is Satyameva Jayate. Therefore, we all support honesty and truth, at least on a lip service level. Our government thinks that telling the truth will win, and all of our major faiths support this idea. However, India is one of the most corrupt nations in the world.

The actual degree of corruption in India is unknown. However, everyone is aware of how ubiquitous it is and how it is steadily eroding the nation’s foundation. There is little question that the future of democracy is in jeopardy if corruption, bribery, and nepotism are not stopped as soon as possible. The parallel is distressing to those of us who are aware of the high moral standards that prevailed before and shortly after India became an independent nation. We seek in vain the integrity, effectiveness, quality, and commitment to duty that once distinguished government. One starts to doubt whether we are the same people that rode to independence with the motto “truth and sacrifice.” A nation or society can improve its ability to reduce corruption to manageable levels by taking a comprehensive strategy and including all of the key players in the anti-corruption reform process. However, none of this can be dealt with without wise and tenacious political leadership. without substantial levels of public backing and knowledge, as well as without a driven and competent corporate sector. In many nations, creating a thriving wicked society that is willing and able to play a significant role in influencing its surroundings is the most challenging aspect of the equation.


The corruption practices have been happening due to various reasons in the system of the nation. Therefore, mentioning and discussing a few of them will surely highlight the main reasons for corruption.

  1. Low Pay Scale of Government Employees- At present in India, there is a sterling increase in the demand for government jobs due to the security of jobs its offers and other benefits it gives to its employees. Due to the huge population and growing population, there is expanding demand for government jobs as everyone cannot secure his place in the private sector. A person who tirelessly prepares for getting a government job in India and if he is selected, he does not see any financial gain or activity of efforts which he has undergone while preparing for his exam. He, therefore, chooses an unethical way to gain more money in less period. 
  2. Lack of Accountability- A government employee is not responsible for reporting his duty or activity or any of the work carried out by him on a specific day. Therefore, he thinks that he is free to act in his way and not to abide by ethics or behaviour. It was after the passing of some acts legislations and statutes that brought the illegal practice of corruption under the surveillance of the government.
  3. Lack of Stick and Fast Punishments- One of the most crucial features of the government job is that there is a lack of punishment which a government employee can get if he is involved in corruption. If he is involved in corruption investigation proceedings are undertaken against him which do not render any result and the employee is transferred from one place to another or merely there is suspended for a particular period. 
  4. Greed and the Need of becoming rich overnight- One of the main reasons for growing corruption is the mindset of the people working in the government sector. The need and desire to become rich and successful is also a motivating factor in involving such type of heinous activity. 
  5. Tolerance of corruption by the people- In the present world where everyone is busy carrying out his day-to-day activity in the best and most effective way no one wants that his time is wasted on any futile activity which does not render any financial gain. Therefore, when they visit any government office, they try to adopt corrupt practices to get their job done easily. 


  1. Lack of quality of services- The quality of services drastically decreases if one is involved in corrupt practices as he does not put any effort from his side in rendering services and gives services in the easiest way possible which in turn decreases the quality of services that needs to be maintained by the government. 
  2. Lack of proper justice- If corruption is taking place in any judicial department or any department which is authorized to provide give basic services to common people then it will affect a large portion of the society. 
  3. Low rate of economic growth- The involvement of any government employee will surely affect the growth rate of the nation as it will put a halt to the flow of currency in the economy. There is a hoarding of money in the form of cash, assets, and in the form of stocks which directly plays a role of hindrance in the growth of economy of the nation.
  4. Low Foreign Direct Investment- If corruption exists in the government sector foreign investor will hesitate to invest in the nation as they know that their funds or capital will not be utilized in the best and most effective manner. 


To codify all existing laws, eliminate corruption in government institutions, and prosecute and discipline public servants who commit corrupt activities, the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (POCA)1, was developed. It is a potent weapon against this evil. The success of the anti-corruption campaign depends on how well this legislation works. This Act gives the Central Government the power to appoint judges to look into and try instances involving offenses that are punished under the Act, as well as situations where an attempt or conspiracy to commit an offense is made.


The Indian Penal Code of 18602 first addressed cases of bribery and corruption involving public employees in the Indian Justice System. However, it became clear throughout the 1945s that the legislation in place at the time was inadequate to address the circumstances, and it was considered that special rules about bribery and corruption were to be established. As a result, the Prevention of Corruption Act, of 19473, was impressively enacted. The Anti-Corruption Laws (Amendment) Act of 19644 and the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 19525, both of which were based on the Santhanam Committee’s recommendations, respectively, altered the 1947 Act twice.

As a result, the 1988 Prevention of Corruption Act, which became effective on September 9, 1988, was based on the 1947 Act. To make the whole resolution more feasible and eradicate corruption in Indian government offices and public sector organizations, it was intended to enhance the standards and widen the inclusion of anti-corruption laws. The Prevention of Corruption Act’s goal is to eradicate corruption throughout Indian government agencies and the public sector.

The extent of corruption in government organizations must be understood, but it’s also critical to prosecute and discipline public employees who take part in corrupt activities. The Act also takes into account individuals who helped the offenders commit the bribery or corruption offense.


Some of the amendments were done in the year 2013 and 2018 which was related to bribery and the period given to Special Judges (Section 4)6 for investigating the case.

2013’s Amendments 

  1. Bribery was declared a criminal offense. A person who was forced to bribe will not be prosecuted under the Prevention of Corruption Act if they disclose the incident to law authorities within seven days.
  2. The modified criminal misbehaviour law addressed two different sorts of offenses. Illegal enrichment, which is defined as accumulating money that is out of proportion to one’s sources of income, and fraudulent property misappropriation are the offenses.
  3. The modifications were made with the pertinent government authority’s prior consent to undertake any inquiry into any offenses allegedly committed in public instances. However, if the criminal has already been detained for accepting bribes, then this authorization is not required.
  4. If a special judge is handling the case, the PCA trial limit was set at two years. Only four years should be allowed for the trial’s overall duration.

2018’s Amendments

  1. Bribery is a particular and explicit offense.
  2. Anyone who accepts bribes faces a fine and a jail sentence of three to seven years.
  3. Bribe-givers may additionally face a fine and a sentence of up to 7 years in jail.
  4. In the case that the incident is reported to law enforcement within 7 days, the 2018 amendment adds a provision to safeguard persons who have been coerced to pay a bribe.
  5. It redefines criminal behaviour to just include property theft and having an excessive amount of assets.
  6. By requiring that investigative agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation obtain prior clearance from a competent authority before starting an inquiry into them, it proposes a “shield” to protect government employees, including those who have retired, from punishment.
  7. However, it specifies that such authorizations are not required in situations when a person is immediately detained on suspicion of taking or attempting to accept an unfair benefit for himself or another person.
  8. The concept of “undue advantage” must be proven in every case of corruption involving a public employee.
  9. Within two years, the trial in instances involving the payment of bribes and corruption must be concluded. Furthermore, the trial cannot be longer than four years, even with justifiable delays.
  10. It includes the potential for business organizations that provide bribes to face sanctions or legal action. However, they don’t apply to nonprofit organizations.
  11. It outlines the authority and processes for seizing and forfeiting the property of a public official suspected of corruption.


The penalty for an infraction committed by a public employee has been increased under Sections 77, 128, and 149 of the Amendment Act from a minimum penalty of 6 months to a minimum punishment of 3 years and from a maximum punishment of 5 years to 7 years, with or without fine. In situations of abetment, sentences also go longer.

When a crime is committed repeatedly, the penalty is increased from a minimum of 2 years to 5 years and a maximum of 7 years to 10 years in jail.

  1. Corruption by Public Servant: The Prevention of Corruption Act of 2018’s10, Section 13 made reference to the misappropriation of assets and unfair justifications for doing so. It offered the justification for making a criminal misconduct accusation against the public employee.
  2. Sanctions for Prosecution: According to the 2018 Prevention of Corruption Act11, any prosecution of public employees must get the approval of the relevant government. Section 17A of the Amendment Act12 expands the protection to include inquiries or investigations made before prosecution. Therefore, neither a police officer nor a former one may open an investigation into a public employee.


One thing is abundantly clear from the above analysis: Corruption threatens not only the national or global economy but also the entire human race. Thousands of people and families in India are living in extreme poverty and are unable to access even the most basic necessities for survival. As a result, they are forced to bear the harsh consequences of corruption when they are unable to provide the required standard of service.


  1. Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (Act No 49 of 1988)
  2. Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Act No 45 of 1860)
  3. Prevention of Corruption Act (Act No 2 0f 1947)
  4. Anti-Corruption Laws (Amendment) Act of 1964
  5. Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1952
  6. Section 4 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988
  7. Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988
  8. Section 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988
  9. Section 14 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988
  10. Prevention of Corruption Act, 2018 (Act No 16 of 2018)
  11. Prevention of Corruption Act, 2018 (Act No 16 of 2018)
  12. Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act 2018

This article is authored by Animesh Nagvanshi, a student at ICFAI University, Dehradun.

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