Govt invites comments on draft anti-corruption law

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

The government has invited comments from the public on a draft anti-corruption law that would allow investigators to prosecute officials of foreign government and international organizations

The notification was issued on the website of the department of personnel and training on Monday. Comments can be posted until 30 April. The proposed legislation is a crucial step before the government can ratify the 2003 United Nations Convention Against Corruption, signed by India in 2005.

The convention deals with the criminalization of bribery committed by officials of public international organizations, including the UN, and related issues, taking into account questions of privileges and immunities, as well as of jurisdiction and the role of international organizations. The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, which is facing a number of allegations of corruption, introduced the Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of Public International Organisations Bill in Parliament on 25 March. It empowers an Indian court to sentence a foreign public official, if found guilty of corruption, to six months to seven years in prison. Once the Bill is passed, it will allow the government to sign treaties with other countries under the UN convention to help investigating agencies prosecute the accused.

The Bill defines a foreign public official as a person holding a legislative, executive, administrative or judicial office in a foreign country, any person exercising a public function for a foreign country and any official or agent of a public international organization. Certain provisions of the existing Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, would also be amended to clear the way for the new legislation.
 

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