Adequacy of Legal and Regulatory Framework

To Combat Corruption in India

Corruption is one of the social evils found in all the societies of the world. Unfortunately, India is regarded as one of the countries in which corruption has become very much widespread during the recent years. “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Corruption is a term with many meanings, but generally it entails misusing one’s office for a private gain or unofficial end. It involves both a monetary and non-monetary benefit. Bribery, extortion, influence peddling, nepotism, scams, fraud, ‘grease money’, these are types of corruption.


  • The Dictionary defines corruption as “an inducement to wrong by bribery or other unlawful means: a departure from what is pure and correct.”
  • The law dictionary defines corruption as “something against law; as certain acts by arbitrators, election or other officers, trustees; an act done with intent to gain an advantage not consistent with official duty and rights of others.”
  • Corruption can be defined as “the misuse of entrusted power for personal benefit”.


It is a commonly held view that political and bureaucratic corruption, public funds embezzlement, fraudulent procurement practices and corruption in the enforcement and regulatory institutions and consumer exploitation by private companies/ contractors plague Indian public life. Examining the root causes of corruption in India and understanding its several manifestations is necessary to place the problem in its context and is an essential prerequisite for policy formulation.

There are two forms of corruption petty and grand corruption. Petty corruption is either the collusive or coercive action of a public official vis-a-vis a member of the public to subvert the system over relatively small transactions. Grand corruption is the subversion of the system by senior government officials and formations of the political executive, usually in collusion with private sector players. In India both forms of corruption are prevalent as result of which corruption has become endemic to Indian society.

Globally, there is a general consensus amongst most academics and policy makers that the debilitating effects of corruption permeate through all aspects of public life. The impact of corruption is multi fold, encompassing political costs, economic costs, social costs, environmental costs and issues of national security. Corruption within security agencies can lead to a threat to national security, including through distortion of procurement, recruitment of ineligible persons, providing an easy route for smuggling of weapons and terrorist elements into the country and money laundering. Given the entrenchment of corruption in Indian society, for any strategy against corruption to be successful, sustained commitment from all actors of society, including political leaders, various government agencies, civil society, media, the private sector and the common man, will be imperative.

Legal and regulatory frameworks underpinning public life play a vital role in controlling corruption in a country like India. The legal structure of society forms an important pillar in the fight against corruption. In India, the legal framework for curbing and controlling corruption is primarily based on statutory and common law. While existing legislations and executive orders have gone a long way towards reducing corruption levels in India, there still remain some areas that require change.

Government should frame strict and stringent anti-corruption laws. Severe punishments and penalties should be imposed on corrupt people. The justice and proceedings should not be delayed. Immediate action should be taken against corrupt people and necessary laws to be introduced  for exemplary punishment to the   identified corrupted  people  so that other people do not dare to  act. The taxation law must be modified, licenses and permit system must be thoroughly reviewed and as far as possible licensing system should be abolished which breeds corruption .  Bureaucratic corruption must be reduced by strong and effective enforcement of punitive measures against bribe-taking.


Certain sections of the IPC could be used for punishing those who are guilty of taking bribe. The Central Government introduced in 1947 “The Prevention of Corruption Act” for the more effective prevention of bribery and corruption.  The Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 and its 2008 amendment is a specialised law aimed at curbing corruption in India. It criminalises corruption in the public and private sector in the form of attempted corruption, active and passive bribery, extortion, bribery of a foreign public officials, abuse of office, and money laundering.




The Right to Information Act (RTI Act), which took effect in October 2005, has played a central role in the fight against corruption in India. The RTI act gives information to the people about the mechanism to eradicate corruption. According to the RTI Act, citizens have the right to access government documents within 30 days from the filing of the request. Some commentators are enthusiastic about the effects of the RTI, while others point at the difficulty citizens from rural areas have to make full use of the law and to the need of making citizens and public servants more aware of the RTI. In rural area people have no idea about corruption so it is the duty of the RTI to make certain measures to give full information to the rural people about corruption.


The Right to Information Act, 2005 has reportedly improved bureaucratic transparency by giving citizens better access to records. Nevertheless, according to a July 2010 article by Hindustan Times, in practice, these measures have not proven as a sufficient protection measure for whistleblowers. According to the article, eight whistleblowers were killed in 2010 – at least two of them because they attempted to expose corruption. In August 2010, the Parliament approved the Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making the Disclosure Bill, which enables the CVC to provide harsh penalty to people revealing the identity of whistleblowers.


In September 2010, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) unveiled the long-awaited long-term governmental anti-corruption initiative, the Draft National Anti-Corruption Strategy. The Draft Strategy aims at creating a legal and regulatory anti-corruption framework and strengthening the existing institutions to effectively combat corruption. This draft piece of legislation is expected to increase the role of institutions such as the CVC, Central Bureau of Investigation, Comptroller and Auditor General, as well as the various anti-corruption agencies. It is also expected to address political and administrative corruption, as well as corruption within the private sector, according to a September 2010 article by Legal Perspectives.

A huge amount of wealth created through corrupt means find its way to bank account outside the jurisdiction of India. The steps being taken in this regard include amendment of Income Tax Act, 1961 to find out the huge amount of money deposited in the foreign bank.  India is an active participant in the global efforts to facilitate exchange of tax information and to take action against tax evasion. These efforts need to be strengthened to eliminate opportunities for investment of wealth earned through corrupt activities. The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 (Benami Act) prohibits benami transactions and even provides for Government acquisition of property held benami. Most of the wealth in India which is accumulated through corrupt means gets invested in benami immoveable property, gold and jewellery, high value consumer goods and other conspicuous consumption. The steps should be taken for the effective implementation of the Benami act including passing rules for confiscation of benami property. The identity document should be made compulsory for all immoveable property with a proper identification number should be maintained.

There must be an adequate regulatory frame work to eradicate corruption from India. It is globally except that corruption deters the level of investment and weakens the economic development of a country.  Hence for this reason we need effective regulators develop, to implement and monitor an effective anti-corruption program for themselves and the stakeholders. India has a number of institutions at the federal and state level with authority to deal with allegations of corruption. There are so many anti-corruption institutions to make strict laws on corruption. The Central Bureau of Investigation functions under the Ministry of Personnel, Pension & Public Grievances. The CBI consists of three divisions: the Anti-Corruption Division, the Special Crimes Division, and the Economic Offences Division. These units have the power to investigate cases of alleged corruption in all branches of the central government, ministries, public sector entities and the Union Territories.

The Government of India has established various authorities to regulate different aspects of

the economy. In the Indian context, regulators carry wide ranging powers to make, authorize, recommend and govern policy decisions and administer and execute government programs. Regulators are important stakeholders for ensuring good governance and healthy competition.

There must be adequate policies, protocols, and monitoring/reporting mechanisms, including procedural actions and sanctions to counter corrupt practices.

There is need for effective ethical framework as part of anti corruption strategy. The Government aimed at developing appropriate communication and educative mechanism to spread core values and ideals for which the regulator stands for. There is a need to create public awareness on anti-corruption strategy, complaint and whistle blowing mechanisms and on strong monitoring and reporting mechanism by posting periodic updates on the respective web sites and sharing of the information with other regulators or Government agencies for appropriate action to eradicate corruption.

In many instances, regulators prescribe self regulatory measures for their stakeholders (for example brokers in capital markets and practicing public accountants). Such measures govern the conduct of participants in the regulator’s area of operation and serve as an important line of defence against unethical activity contributing to corruption. It worsens our image in international market and leads to loss of overseas opportunities. Corruption is a global problem that all countries of the world have to confront, solutions, however, can only be home grown. It affects the mind of the people. We have tolerated corruption for so long. It has created a huge problem. The time has now come to root it out from its roots. The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947, has been a miserable failure in reaching its target.

There should be  exclusively an Autonomous Body  like “Election Commission” where the Chief Functionary  and  other  top officials will be  appointed by the  President of India and once they are appointed  they will be acting  as their own  to implement the law /rules  in order to arrest and curve  and bring down the  corruption graph.  They will have the power to access in all the fields and all the walk of the life  and to keep the close vigil of the activities of  all the Bureaucrats, Ministers, MLA, MPs and other sources wherefrom corruption is being generated.

Sufficient, qualified and most professional personnel  without any nepotism, favouratism and political interference ,   should be recruited so that  close, constant vigilance can be arranged  . Moreover early disposal of the case must be assured so that corrupted people cannot escape throwing dust into the eyes of law for the cause of inordinate delay in framing charge-sheet and  completion of  case and its judgment. We know that corruption has increased out of all proportions. To eradicate corruption from the society we need new legislative enactment by the Central Government and its sincere and serious implementation.


BY :-BINEETA MITRA (5th semester) 3rd year


“Honour killing” is an age old social evil whose frequency has escalated in the recent past. Khap Panchayats, which are a system of social administration in rural areas since ancient times, are being blamed for these long series of killings. While these Panchayats  (assembly) had some role in setting the community disputes, these exclusively male bodies, dominated by village eliteS have been asserting the values of past, gone by era and stand in the way of the values of Indian Constitution, the values of  Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.


An honor killing or honour killing (also called a customary killing) is the murder of a (female) family or clan member by one or more fellow (mostly male) family members, where the murderers (and potentially the wider community) believe the victim to have brought dishonour upon the family, clan, or community. This perceived dishonor is normally the result of (a) utilizing dress codes unacceptable to the family (b) wanting out of an arranged marriage or choosing to marry by own choice, (c) engaging in certain sexual acts or (d) engaging in relations with the same sex. These killings result from the perception that defense of honor justifies killing a person whose behavior dishonors their clan or family. These crimes are prevalent in orthodox, regional and socially backward groups in many countries across the world, mainly of muslim origin.


 In Pakistan honor killings are known locally as karo-kari. Amnesty International’s report noted “the failure of the authorities to prevent these killings by investigating and punishing the perpetrators.”Recent cases include that of three teenage girls who were buried alive after refusing arranged marriages. Another case was that of Taslim Khatoon Solangi, 17, of Hajna Shah village in Khairpur district, which became widely reported after the graphic account of her father, 57-year-old Gul Sher Solangi, who allegedly tortured and murdered his eight months’ pregnant daughter on March 7 on the orders of her father-in-law, who accused her of carrying a child conceived out of wedlock. Statistically, honor killings enjoy high level of support in Pakistani society, despite widespread condemnation from human rights groups. In 2002 alone, over 382 people, about 245 women and 137 men, became victims of honor killings in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Over the course of six years, over 4,000 women have fallen victim to this practice in Pakistan from 19992004. More recently (in 2005), the average annual number of honor killings for the whole nation ran up to more than 10,000 per year.   “Frequently, women murdered in “honour” killings are recorded as having committed suicide or died in accidents.

Every year in the UK, a dozen women are victims of honor killings, occurring almost exclusively to date within Asian and Middle Eastern families, and often cases are unresolved due to the unwillingness of family, relatives and communities to testify. A 2006 BBC poll for the network in the UK found that 1 in 10 of the 500 young Asians polled said that they could condone the murder of someone who dishonored their family. In the UK, in December 2005, Nazir Afzal, Director, West London, of Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service, stated that the United Kingdom has seen “at least a dozen honour killings” between 2004 and 2005.

Jordan, considered one of the most liberal countries in the Middle East still witnesses instances of honor killings. In Jordan there is minimal gender discrimination and women are permitted to vote, but men receive reduced sentences for killing their wives or female family members if they have brought dishonor to their family. Families often have sons who are considered minors, under the age of 18, to commit the honor killings. A loophole in the juvenile law allows minors to serve time in a juvenile detention center and they are released with a clean criminal record at the age of 18. Rana Husseini, a leading journalist on the topic of honor killings, states that “under the existing law, people found guilty of committing honor killings often receive sentences as light as six months in prison”. There has been much outcry in Jordan for the amendments of Article 340 and 98. In 1999, King Abdullah created a council to review the gender inequalities in the country. The Council returned with a recommendation to repeal Article 340.

An article in the Spring 2009 edition of Middle East Quarterly argues that the United States is far behind Europe in acknowledging that honor killings are a special form of domestic violence, requiring special training and special programs to protect the young women and girls most likely to be the victim of such. The article suggests that the fear of being labeled “culturally insensitive” prevents US government officials and the media from both identifying and accurately reporting these incidents as “honor killings” when they occur. Failing to accurately describe the problem makes it more difficult to develop public policies to address it.


People are sometimes murdered in Northern India (mainly in the Indian state of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and Bihar for marrying without their family’s acceptance, in some cases for marrying outside their caste (Jat or Rajput) or religion. Among Rajputs, marriages with other caste male/female instigates killings of the married couple and family. This is unique form  honor killing related to the militant culture of ethnic Rajputs, who, despite the forces of modernization and the pressures of decolonization, subscribe to medieval views concerning the “preservation” of perceived “purity” of their lineage.

In Punjab also there are many honor killing incidents. In Haryana, for example, a couple of such incidents still occur every year Bhagalpur in the northern Indian state of Bihar has also been notorious for honor killings. Recent cases include a 16-year-old girl, Imrana, from Bhojpur who was set on fire inside her house in a case of what the police called ‘moral vigilantism’. The victim had screamed for help for about 20 minutes before neighbours arrived, only to find her still smoldering. She was admitted to a local hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries. In another case in May 2008, Jayvirsingh Bhadodiya shot his daughter Vandana Bhadodiya and struck her in the head with an axe. In june 2010 some incidents were reported even from Delhi.

In a landmark judgment, in March 2010, Karnal district court ordered the execution of the five perpetrators in an honour killing case, while giving a life sentence to the khap (local caste-based council) head who ordered the killings of Manoj Banwala (23) and Babli (19), two members of the same clan who eloped and married in June 2007. Despite being given police protection on court orders, they were kidnapped; their mutilated bodies were found a week later from an irrigation canal.Honor killings are rare to non-existent in South India, and the western Indian states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. There have been no honor killings in West Bengal in over 100 years, thanks to the influence and activism of reformists like Vivekananda, Ramakrishna, Vidyasagar and Raja Ram Mohan Roy .

In Haryana, JUNE 2010, a couple in their 20s were found dead in the woman’s home in Bhiwani District. The bodies bore injury marks, indicating the victims were beaten mercilessly. The police have arrested six member of the woman’s family, including her parents, on the charge of murder. The family apparently disapproved of the relationship because the man was from a different caste.

In Delhi, JUNE 2010, A 19-year-old girl and her boyfriend were tortured  for hours before being killed by electrocution in Delhi. The girl’s father and uncle have been arrested and have allegedly confessed they killed the couple because the boy, a taxi driver, was not a suitable match for the girl.  


Honor crimes are acts of violence, usually murder, committed by male family members against female family members, who are held to have brought dishonor upon the family. A woman can be targeted by (individuals within) her family for a variety of reasons, including: refusing to enter into an arranged marriage, being the victim of a sexual assault, seeking a divorce — even from an abusive husband — or (allegedly) committing adultery. The mere perception that a woman has behaved in a way that “dishonors” her family is sufficient to trigger an attack on her life.

As the “Honour Killings” include torture, mutilation, rape, forced marriage, imprisonment within the home and even murder and these  crimes are intended to protect the family honour by preventing and punishing woman for allegedly violating community norms of behaviour, particularly sexual behaviour and thus  violating the HUMAN RIGHT.


 In the recent times the cases has been on the increase and in current scenario when the State has remained mute spectators there is a lot of fear spread among the young generation and couples who are married and some of them intending to get married that they may face the wrath of such feudal forces. Many a times the pressures are so intense that the couples resort to suicide. In the recent months cases have come to light where couples are being killed, publicly humiliated and declared as brothers and sisters. Couples have faced social ostracisation from the society. Many have been killed in cold murder after torture.


1. New Law on Honour Killings as already announced by the Government  to be enacted.

2. States to  take all necessary precautionary measures to curve  Honour Killings and take proactive steps to prevent such killings.

3. The Central and the State Government need to come out with a paper on what steps they have taken to implement the Supreme Court Directions in 2006 in Lata Singh Vs State of Uttar Pradesh.

4. Come out with various help lines numbers and special cell where such couples can approach the administration for protection.

5. Constitute fast track courts for cases of Honour Killings.

6. AMENDMENT OF the Special Marriage Act and reduce the period of registration of Marriage from one month to one week.


The proposed ordinance is expected soon so that spate of recent cases could come under the ordinance. A top government official said law minister M Veerappa Moily and home minister P Chidambaram have been working in tandem to strengthen Section 302 of the IPC, which deals with punishment for murder. Attorney general Goolam E Vahanvati has suggested a speedy amendment in the law.In his opinion, Vahanvati has said bodies like khap (caste) panchayats can be brought under the ambit of the crime as they are accused in many instances of ordering killings in the name of protecting the “honour” of the community. The law minister wants a new section in the IPC to define such crimes. The ordinance would also amend the Evidence Act to put the onus of proof on the accused. The Supreme Court had recommended amending the Evidence Act so that caste-provoked killings can be dealt with sternly. Among the suggested changes is holding caste panchayats guilty of any “honour” crime, and holding all members of such bodies as deemed guilty, whether or not they favoured the killing.

The new law would also cover torture, social boycott of the couple and discrimination. Such killings would be defined as “where men and women are killed by their kin or members of their caste for defying traditions”. It would be a separate crime under the IPC and those found guilty could be punished with death or life imprisonment. An ordinance has to be approved by parliament within six months of its promulgation, or it lapses.

 Union law minister Veerappa Moily said the government was planning to bring a bill in Parliament next session to provide for deterrent punishment for honour killings. The bill adds five clauses to Section 300 of the Indian Penal Code, making honour killings a “distinct offence”. Such killings now bring charges of murder (Section 302), criminal conspiracy (Section 120 A& B) and killing with common intent (Section 34 and 36). Honour killing cases would be tried by fast track courts to provide speedy justice to the victims.


It remains to be seen as to how effectively the legislature and the judiciary are able to resolve this conflicting issue between traditional beliefs and transition to modernity.