Corrupt to be handled sternly: PM

Corrupt to be handled sternly: PM

In the backdrop of UPA II facing severe allegations of corruption, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asserted that his government is committed to probity, transparency and accountability and considering amending Prevention of Corruption Act to fill the gaps in existing law so that new forms of corruption can be dealt with.

“We are also considering amendments to the Prevention of Corruption Act, not only in view of the judicial rulings on its provisions, but also with the purpose of filling certain gaps in the legislation and bringing it in line with current international practice,” the prime minister said while addressing 19th conference of CBI and state Anti-Corruption Bureaus.

Singh said the "government stands firm in its commitment to do everything possible to ensure probity, transparency and accountability in the work of public authorities."

Stressing that “today different sectors of our economy follow developmental models that are increasingly becoming more and more sophisticated”, the prime minister said an unambiguous definition for the term “corruption,” covering both the supply and demand sides, is being sought to be provided.

The prime minister added that changes in the existing legislation are being examined so that “consensual bribery” and “corporate failure to prevent bribery as a new offence” will be taken care of.

He also suggested that the investigation agencies need to continuously upgrade their skills to tackle the latest forms of corruption, which have come into existence in the wake of newer economic activities.

He reiterated his commitment to fight graft. He also emphasised the need for protecting honest officers. The government is “examining how the Act can be amended to protect honest public servants more effectively.

The prime minister also asserted that the government “needs to ensure that even while the corrupt are relentlessly pursued and brought to book, the innocent are not harassed.”

CBI Director A P Singh stressed the need for cooperation between the agency and state anti-corruption bureaus to make the drive more effective.

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