Prevention of Corruption Act


Corruption is a worldwide phenomenon. It has become the part of our daily life. It is detestable as it has entered the very roots of our society. Corruption, nepotism, dishonesty is increasing rapidly.

Santharam Committee

It was created by Central Government in 1960. The chairman of the committee was K. Santhanam. This committee gave its report in 1962. The committee observes that “Corruption cannot be eliminated or reduced unless preventive measures are been taken and implemented in a proper manner. Preventive measures must include administrative, legal, social, economic and educative measures.” On the recommendations of this committee, central government set up Central Vigilance Commission in 1964 for looking into the cases of corruption against central government.

Recommendations by the committee

  • A thorough study has to be done of each department, undertaking or ministry. The study should also mention preventive measures to be taken.
  • Citizens should be educated and made aware of their rights and responsibilities. They should know how the government operates.
  • Various facilities such as housing, medical etc. should be given to the employees. There must be an increment in their salaries.
  • Recreational activities should be conducted for the employees of each department.
  • Companies and businessmen are required to keep detailed accounts of expenditure.
  • Administrative officers should be selected with due care. Only those who satisfy the requirements to the fullest must be appointed for the key posts.
  • The government servants cannot accept any private commercial employment for two years after retirement.
  • Administrative delays should be reduced to avoid corruption practices.
  • The licenses and permit system along with taxation laws must be reviewed.
  • The higher authorities should make sure that laws are properly enforced.
  • Media should play a positive role in encouraging honesty and discouraging corruption.


The Prevention of Corruption Act came into force in September 1988. It inculcated provisions of Prevention of corruption Act, 1987, Indian penal code, the Criminal Procedure Code and the Criminal Law Act, 1952. After and during Second World War corruption amongst the officers and public servants considerably increased and the provisions of IPC and CrPC were inadequate to cope up with this situation. So for this matter the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947 was passed. Under this Act special judges are being appointed by the Central and State Government. Special Judge should be a Session Judge or an Additional Session Judge or Assistant Session Judge under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

The Criminal Procedure Code declares the offences against the public officer as non-cognizable, but under this act it is obligatory for the court to make certain probability of guilt against the accused. The investigation has to be taken by Deputy Superintendent of Police. This act has shifted the burden of proof from prosecution to the accused.

The act has redefined the meaning of ‘public servant’. The ‘public servant’ as per the definition includes any person in service of a government and in the pay of the government, or its department, its companies or any undertaking or control of the government. The act extends to whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir. MP’s and MLA’s have been kept out of this act. When it comes to the trial of public servants it is conducted by special judge and the appeal lies before the High court and then before the Supreme court. If the offences against the public servant have been proved, it is punishable with imprisonment of not less than six months which may extends to five years. Misappropriation, abusing official position, misappropriate to income, obtaining a pecuniary advantage etc. are being taken as offences under this act.

Administrative Vigilance Division in the department of Personnel and Training.

It was set up in the Ministry of Home Affairs in August 1955 to take measures for Anti-corruption. Under this scheme each department was required to nominate a member of not less than Deputy Secretary’s status to be the Chief Vigilance Officer of the department. He was assigned to deal with all the vigilance matters under his control. They formulate and implement the policies of central government in the field of vigilance, integrity in public services and anti-corruption.

Central Bureau of Investigation

The Central Bureau of Investigation is constituted under the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs Resolution No. 4/31/61-T, dated the 1st April, 1963. The investigation work is done through S.P.E. Wing of the C.B.I. which derives its Police powers from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 to enquire and to investigate into certain specified offences or classes of offences pertaining to corruption and other kinds of malpractices involving public servants with a view to bring them to book.

Domestic Vigilance Units in the Ministries /Departments /Public undertakings/ nationalized banks

Central Vigilance Commission

The Central Vigilance Commission was setup in 1964 by the recommendations of Santhanam Committee. It is a non-statutory body and its jurisdictions and functions can be amended by government. It takes cases where gazetted officers of central government, union territories, officers of PSU’s and nationalized banks are held for corruption. It works as an autonomous and advisory body. It is headed by Central Vigilance Commissioner, assisted by a Secretary, five branch officers and eleven Commissioners for Departmental Inquiries.


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