The Rajya Sabha passed amendments to the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, on Friday, which will make giving bribes to a public servant an offence. The amendment bill had been first floated in 2013, by the Congress-led government at the Centre
According to PRS Legislative Research, the amendment bill also redefines criminal misconduct to cover just the misappropriation of property and the possession of disproportionate assets. It narrows definitions and penalties for a range of offences, and outlines powers and procedures for seizing the property of public servants accused of corruption.
The bill also removes the provision that protected bribe givers from prosecution for statements they make during a corruption trial.
During the discussion on the bill, Congress leader Anand Sharma asked why the Narendra Modi government had not yet appointed the anti-graft ombudsman Lokpal, PTI reported. The Bharatiya Janata Party claimed its government had made unprecedented efforts towards curbing corruption.