Short Essay on Prevention of Corruption – Corruption is the termite that gnaws at the very fabric of the Rule of Law because it is, after all, through greasing the palms of the men in power that the rich and influential get around rules and procedures, and sometimes even manage to get away with crime.
Not that the law has stood helpless. In fact the Indian Penal Code defines and subscribes substantial punishment for corrupt public servants. But the law has been found to be insufficient to check corruption.
The Santhanam Committee found and has reported that the Indian Penal Code is inadequate to deal with corruption effectively. The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 was enacted specifically to deal with corruption, and the scope of the expression “public servant” was widened and the penalties for indulging in corruption were also enhanced. The ‘public servant’ as per the definition under the Act includes any person in service of a government and in the pay of the government, or its department, or its companies or any undertaking or control of the government.
The judges, or persons authorised by court to perform any such duty and arbitrator are also public servants. The Prime Minister, Chief Minister, MLAs and MPs too fall within the ambit of the definition.
Under the Act, the trial against a public servant is conducted by a special judge and the appeal against the judgement lies before the High Court and thereafter before the Supreme Court. However, anti-corruption legislations have not been able to make the kind of difference they were expected to make primarily because corruption has become, more or less, a way of life with us. We have got used to paying our way through the labyrinthine processes and official bottlenecks.
Almost everyone in the machinery gets his share from the booty, and so all are partners in crime. Simplifying official procedures in government departments and prompt action against corrupt officials would go a long way in treating the malady.