- Prelims: corruption, Supreme court, governance etc
- Mains GS Paper II & III: Issues with the urbanization, corruption and issues associated with it.
- In Neeraj Dutta v. State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi) the Constitution Bench lowered the bar for the quantum of evidence required to convict persons charged with corruption.
INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE
- Corruption is dishonest behavior by those in positions of power.
- Those who abuse their power may be individuals or they may belong to organizations, such as businesses or governments.
- Corruption can entail a variety of actions, including giving or accepting bribes or inappropriate gifts, double-dealing, and defrauding investors.
- India was ranked 85 among 180 countries in the corruption perception index 2021.
Reasons for corruption:
Impact of Corruption:
Importance of Neeraj Dutta v. State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi) judgment:
- The Supreme Court debunks the myth that absolute proof of guilt alone can help convict an offender.
- Even if prosecution witnesses turn hostile: A conviction would be in order if all the circumstantial evidence marshaled by the prosecution and produced before the court points unmistakably to the guilt of the accused.
- Step towards ensuring integrity in public services, especially in the ‘superior’ services such as the IAS and IPS.
- The Supreme Court has set the standard:The court has directed that infirmities such as non-availability of the complainant, either because he is dead or otherwise not traceable, should not stand in the way of accepting the story of the prosecution.
- The same liberal application of the law of evidence will now apply to cases where prosecution witnesses turn hostile, either because of inducement or intimidation.
Aspects to the fight against corruption:
- Severity of the law and its application
- Strength of public opinion that would help carry forward the campaign for a clean public life.
Related Indian Initiatives against corruption:
- The Indian Penal Code, 1860
- Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988
- The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002
- The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010
- The Companies Act, 2013
- The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013
- Central Vigilance Commission
- The demand for the death penalty for a wide range of offenses is misdirected: Enhancing penalties for criminal behavior, the higher will be the quantum of proof required by the courts to be convinced of the guilt of those arraigned before them.
- The judgment may not deter people from corruption: We need enlightened opinion leaders who are not scared of taking on powerful elements in politics or in administration.
QUESTION FOR PRACTICE
Q. E-governance is not only about utilization of the power of new technology, but also much about the critical importance of the ‘use value’ of information. Explain.(UPSC 2018) (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)