RTI Reply - Proposal to make bribery in private sector a criminal offence
In a reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has informed that the comments of the state governments of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh and UT of Pondicherry regarding the amendments to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) have not been received so far.
Proposing to make bribery in private sector a criminal offence by amending the Indian Penal Code, the Centre had circulated a draft IPC (Amendments) Bill to all states and Union territories for their comments. It was imperative to take the views of the states as the law and order is a state subject. The draft proposes inserting a new chapter VII A (of offences by or relating to officials in private sector) containing two new clauses i.e. 160A and 160B to keep a check on the bribery in the private sector.
The states of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Punjab, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, West Bengal, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Lakshawdeep and Delhi have given their view in favour of the proposal. The states of Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Daman and Diu administrations have suggested some changes in the proposal while Arunachal Pradesh has offered ‘no comments’.
Currently, there is provision to book a case against anyone in the private sector like an individual, firm, society, trust, association of individuals, company, whether incorporated or not, which undertakes any economic or financial or commercial activity. The draft proposes punishment for anyone who offers or gives any gratification for a private sector entity in the course of economic, financial or commercial activity.